Progress — 07/10/17

July 10, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 13.012 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,755 words

Writing month to date total: 18,239 words

Writing year to date total: 205,456 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted, for complete paintings, but I did practiced in my sketchbook.  I also did some more painting, but  I’m not sure I like what I accomplished. Since I’m still painting over the original painting that I didn’t like, I’m just wondering if this canvas is jinxed. Maybe it needs a cleansing ritual. (I say that half jokingly. Half!)

Audio: I spent 6 hours recording and editing audio.

Week’s happenings: My writing streak continues at 33 days. Some days it’s not so easy. For some reason, this week has been a mixture of easy days and hard days.

I started reformatting all of my books both ebook and print versions. I’m just about done with The Loki Adventures. Over the weekend, I was trying for two per day.  I managed to get all the way through to the print book on For More Mischief, Call Loki.

Yeah, this week has just been weird. Troubles in my personal life – nothing major, but it’s making me rethink some things. That thinking has given me a bout of depression. Again, nothing major — nothing some sleep couldn’t handle. (grin)  I went to adjust one of my websites (after doing that major thinking) and couldn’t get things wrangled around at all – weirdness. I feel like I’m going to have to rip the whole thing apart and start over because there’s so much junk in there. Then I went to update another of my websites and realized I couldn’t — yeah, that chaps my hide — enough said before I get on my soapbox. I’m looking at another of my websites and considering some changes with it. Again, that deep thinking.  I’ve really wanted to get it going again. Maybe once I get the other two sites functioning, I can think about this one again.

Sorry to be cryptic there, but, yeah, you really don’t want to read my growling or frustration any more than I want to put it into words. Don’t worry; I’ll save that emotion for my fiction.

In other news, the good variety, I received a print copy of The Three Books and I love the new look and cover. So now I have the “classic” edition and the “new” edition on hand.

I finished reading through the manuscript for the other author I spoke about a couple weeks ago. It’s the third one in her series and fits really well with the others. I can’t wait until she releases it.

In audio work, I’ve been working on The Three Books. I can tell I’m going to have my hands full with this project.

Well, once I get all my books having a standardized look to them and all corrected for all the issues I know about at this point, and I get my websites functioning, then I plan on enjoying the rest of my week and getting some additional writing done. I just have to remind myself to keep taking deep breaths and not let the world get at me. Is it any wonder I like to write and escape?

I have often asked myself why I write and paint. I keep coming back to the following thought: I want people to see the beauty of the world around them and enjoy it. I want to give humanity hope and inspiration, to give them courage for their own lives, to make them want to be better people for themselves and their loved ones. I want people to be entertained (because I am the first one who gets to have the adventure before I share it).  In short, I want the world to be a better, more enjoyable and entertaining place. There is really no reason that it shouldn’t be.

So, I hate it when others are out there to tear others down.

Do me a favor this week: go out and use your energy productively, not destructively, and see how much better that makes you feel.

Live long the adventure!


Progress – 06/26/17

June 26, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 12.424 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,307 words

Writing month to date total: 46,027 words

Writing year to date total: 179,245 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 10 hours editing audio. More below.

Week’s happenings:  As you can see, I didn’t get as many words written this week as last week, though it was close. I’m really hoping to hit 50,000 words by the end of this month. I often tell myself that non-writers probably don’t care about my word count — it Keep Reading


Progress – 06/19/17

June 19, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 13.243 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,021 words

Writing month to date total: 32,296 words

Writing year to date total: 165,514 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 7.5 hours editing  audio.

Week’s happenings:  This last couple of weeks have been amazing for writing. I am currently on a writing streak of hitting my daily word goals for the last 12 days. I feel like
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ACEO of the Week – 06/10/17

June 10, 2017
Evening Tree #5 020908

Evening Tree #5
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2008 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Space, trees, mountains. This is a very old ACEO I thought I’d bring up this week, but it is one I adore.

Maybe I should restart paintings like this. I’d be so much better at it now. What do you think?

In the meanwhile, keep looking up and dreaming. We’re here to create ourselves. Why else would we have this little bubble that we live in? What is the purpose?

Come closer and let me tell you a little secret several billion people on the planet don’t realize.

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Progress – 06/05/17

June 5, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 7.865 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,290 words

Writing month to date total: May finished out with 29,064 words and June to date is at 7,252

Writing year to date total: 140,470 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted. I did get my Cintiq set up so that I can draw on it again and I spent some time last week working on Weblinks. I have a new page which I haven’t yet posted because I’m tempted to give Lucky a couple extra lines of dialog on the page and I haven’t looked at it to decide if I want to do that or not. I also spent some time inking and coloring the page for one of my children’s stories. More on that below.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches. I don’t have my digital work included in this count since that’s kind of hard to do.

Audio: I spent 4.5 hours on recording and editing  audio. More on this below too.

Week’s happenings:  Like I said above,  I set my Cintiq back up in my office. It’s been sheltered away for far too long and I was getting such an urge to get back to drawing that I could no longer take it. Then, while I was watching the videos for the writing class as well as another webinar video this week, I was working on my webcomic and children’s book. Let’s just say that my webinar video wasn’t very good, but I realized why I haven’t been drawing. Okay, it wasn’t really a new discovery. It was more of me finally admitting it to myself. I often realize something then spend another six to eight months of pounding my head against the wall to really get the lesson before it sinks into my hard head.

Last October when I was sitting in the writing masterclass, Dean Wesley Smith was talking about how he would quit if writing wasn’t fun any more. I made notes in my journal about the fun. My writing had definitely taken a turn away from that many years before, but I remembered when it had been fun and I’d just been writing for joy. I admit that I’m still trying to get that back and only recently have I really let that lesson sink in; it’s my own damn imagination and I’m telling stories to entertain me. If someone doesn’t like my stories, well, they can go find whatever best-seller they want to worship this week. I want to write for me and no one else. I write because I enjoy my worlds better than this one. But I’m wandering away from my point.

As I sat there trying to color my kids’ book, I was trying to think of realistic colors and what overall color scheme I wanted to have for the book. I sat back and looked at it and asked myself when I had decided to pick “Martha Stewart colors.” A couple hours later, the answer hit me. I had forgotten to play. In all the art studying I’ve been doing over the last decade, I forgot to have fun with it.

I was making it work.

I had totally lost the play. Worse, I had let someone else into my head to control my art, more than just Martha Stewart. I had let everyone who has ever made me conform to the standards of this world into my room. Pick a color scheme. You have to have a plan. Color inside the lines. Be smooth. Don’t clash. Don’t do something someone will hate. Do these jeans make my character look fat?

Argh!

So now I have to go back and fix the pages, pretend I have no clue what I’m doing (not hard since I usually don’t) and make them my own. I need to go have fun with them.

In other news, I didn’t spend a lot of time recording and editing audio this week mostly because I was busy listening to The Doorway Prince. I probably should have been recording my time, but since I was doing it here and there, I didn’t capture time.  I also spent several hours this last weekend resetting my microphone. I’m still trying to find that sweet spot for it. I’m hoping I’m there.  That was another 2.5-3.5 hours that I didn’t record time for.

By the way, I went back to take a look at my time from when I uploaded The Last Ant until when I uploaded The Doorway Prince and saw that I have spent nearly 100 hours working on the audio The Doorway Prince. Yep, that’s a 100 hours of recording and editing for a audiobook that came in at just over 2 hours in length. Yes, that is a bit high, but probably not too much. That is why I reset my microphone and I keep hoping to learn to get cleaner and clearer audio. I am still learning.

I also finished a short story this week. I had a bit of trouble with the ending. I kept thinking to myself that I write about outcast heroes and this character was more of a villain than a hero. Crazy to boot. I could accept the crazy, but I didn’t like the things that he had done, even though they took place in the story’s past. I kept feeling like it wasn’t complete. Good hadn’t triumphed. My brain attacked it with a vengeance.  I feared that I was going to have to do something more with it, maybe make this story part of a frame for a larger story. I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I just had to sit down and fill in some parts, then poof, it was done and I felt good about it.

I sent it off before I could stop to think any more about it.

I also have a feeling from things I’ve been writing this week, that I’m going to get back to writing some fantasy romances. Shhh!!!  Don’t say that too loudly. Yes, romances. I’m just not sure I have it in me. But, the writing may take me back to that play land once more.

As for Loki, I have about 7,000 more words that I want to write in the story. That’s just my guess at how long I’d like to make it. He always has other plans.

Onesong is making me want to beat my head against a wall. I keep trying to look at it, but I have so much to fill in and my list keeps growing. At least since I’ve been focused on that, I haven’t been killing off any more characters in my Sacred Knight series. I haven’t brought Aeribela back to life yet either. I did find a scene that I wanted to incorporate into the story, and to do that I really need Aeribela alive (unless I’ve already added the scene and just don’t remember it. Yeah, don’t ask me how many projects I have going right now and how I keep them all straight — my answer is “Don’t know.”).

As you can see, it’s been crazy busy. It needs to stay this way because I’m so far behind on my word count to my yearly goal that I’m just stupid enough to think that I can catch up if I focus and work really hard. Then I have a case of “Oh shiny” and move off to something else. Thanks for listening.

Until next week!

 


ACEO of the Week – 05/20/17

May 20, 2017
Landscape #11

Landscape #11
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

 

Often, I’m very glad when I see ACEO’s go off to someone’s home. It cleans out my space and gives me the urge to paint new ones. This is one I wish I had kept. I still kick myself for not keeping this one. Maybe that means I’ll get inspired to paint a larger piece. We shall see, won’t we?

Trust me on this: if you ever see a piece of art you want, buy it before someone else does. You might regret not having that piece later. There are a couple works by other artists I wish I had. One piece I’m thinking of now was a beautiful gesha painting. The artist, a girl much younger than me, passed away suddenly a couple weeks ago. Very sad. I think about all the art she had within her that is now lost to the world. And, I’m certain the gesha painting is far beyond my grasp now as I’m sure that if she still had it at the time of her death, there is no way that her family is parting with it now. Understandably.

And, if you have art (whatever that is: painting, writing, poetry, cooking, sewing, creating a loving home, taking care of your family, whatever – everyone has something that is an “art” for them) in you, don’t let it remain there. Get it out.

If you don’t think you can, check out last week’s blog for a reminder. Time is the commodity you are given in your life, but you have no idea how much has been doled out to you. Use it wisely. Imagine the possibilities. Then act. How you spend your time and what you give back to those around you is your rent for living. Make sure you give value for having lived.


Progress – 05/15/17

May 15, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 5,645 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  981 words

Writing month to date total: 15,034 words

Writing year to date total: 119,188 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted. I did sketch (doodle actually) in my sketchbook this week.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 9 hours on recording and editing  audio. I have finished all the tracks for The Doorway Prince. I just need to transfer the files to my iphone so I can do a final listen though and make sure I haven’t missed any areas where the sound is bad. However, my iphone and my itunes account are not playing well together. Apple needs to go back to the drawing table with itunes. It use to be so easy to use. The last few versions have been garbage! Now, I get an error with my phone all updated and a new install of itunes. So, an error with fully updated stuff = Steve Jobs rolling over in his grave. There has got to be a better way!!!! Apple, are you listening? There has got to be a better way! Itunes needs fixed from the ground up. There has got to be a better way.

Week’s happenings:  Okay, sorry for my frustration there. I’ve spent 12 hours now trying to get my phone updated, itunes downloaded to my other computer, and no matter what I do (or my children — isn’t that supposed to make it work? If you can’t get something to work, just hand it over to your children? Yeah, that’s not working either) it will not sync. So, needless to say, my Sunday went out the window with me fighting with computer problems. My other computer spent all day trying to upload my audio files that I’d spent Sunday morning creating to the cloud. Two computers down in one day equals me not getting any work done. I am so frustrated that I’m about to burn them onto a CD – yikes!

I did, however, get my newsletter out to subscribers earlier this week. I also got The Three Books all reformatted and the new cover completed for the print version. It should be coming up on Amazon soon. I am running an experiment to see how this all is going to work, so I’m interested to see what the results will be. Curious, I am. (When I’m not being frustrated that is.)

Loki is coming along well. I figure I’m nearing the halfway point for completing the novella. I thought I was coming up on the ending of Mystery of the Stardust Monk, but then I got surprised along with my characters. That’s the best thing about writing in the dark; I have no clue what’s going to happen. And see, with Loki, I couldn’t have planned what happened there, even though Loki was sending me the vibes from the very beginning; he got to be amazed right along with me. (grin)

Along with those two stories, I started working on another idea which actually blossomed from two real tragedies I heard about in the week. While I have no desire to say more than that, let me just remind you to always tell you loved ones what they mean to you. You never know when you might never see them again, at least in this lifetime. I can tell that this is going to be a fun story though. I thought at first that it would be hard, considering the reality behind the idea, but when I started digging into it, I realized I was exactly the person to write this. I have no idea where it’s going — again, writing into the dark now that I have the initial inspiration. Where ever it goes, it will be a journey.

Onward. Wish me luck in getting my files onto my iphone before I have to burn a CD.