Sketching Fun – March 29, 2018

Another Weblink’s page has been posted on Noble Heart Comics for your reading. This is based on some of the work in progress blogs you saw here earlier.

If you want to stay up to date with the comics there, I suggest subscribing to the email (the box on the right). Honestly, I have no idea if it works (yet) as I just remembered to subscribe myself to it yesterday.

Yes, I subscribe to my own blogs. Yes, I’m a goober. I know. (grin)

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Progress – March 26, 2018

skl1 fb promoAside from Prince of the Ruined Land being blown to bits and having to rebuild it, this week was decent. I was tired, but I had fun.

My youngest son was home for spring break. He tore my story apart (in a good way – grin), but considering he’s been helping me plot and work on this book since he was 12, he’s forgiven. He knows the story almost as well as I do even though he’s only read the first book. I hope someday he’ll read the others.

But it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of that I don’t have to worry about spoiling the story for. It lets me be very open about what I “know” about the story as well as explore other avenues.

As I said above, I was also very tired. I think the time change finally caught up to me and shook me like my dog with his toy. Not fun for me.

The boys and I went to see Black Panther last weekend. Not as life-altering as the Sailor Moon musical, but a good story nevertheless.

I’ll speak to a few certain things as I go through the numbers for this week, but since I want to keep this short, let’s get to those numbers.

Fiction words written last week: 4,869 words – all of this has been on Prince of the Ruined Land. I did have several thoughts about Onesong and Elliot’s story (that’s the prequel to Onesong —  I seem to write stories in reverse).  This next week will see me making sure that Prince is coherent. I absolutely must have it done by next Sunday if I want to have a print version done close to the ebook. I will say that I’m glad that I’ve switched to Vellum for my ebooks. That makes that job so much simpler.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,876 words

Writing month to date total:  22,521 words — my writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 12 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 89,289 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 3 hours working on Weblinks. I also started looking at some of work I did on Quest for the Three Books many years ago. While I don’t want to draw the whole thing as a graphic novel, I am thinking about an illustrated version of the novel. I think it’d be a lot of fun to add in some extras. I didn’t get started on; just thinking about it right now.

Audio: I spent 5 and a half hours editing audio. I’m currently on chapter 20 of Quest for the Three Books. Yes, my Sacred Knight series has been on my mind all this week in one form or another.

Working on Weblinks

Last week, I showed a page in progress for Weblinks.

Here’s an update on that page:

MS5 Pages

This is just the pencils for this page. Inking and toning to come. Progress!

I do love Lucky’s wimpy arms in the upper panel. You see, Lucky is actually the younger of two brothers. His older brother is the buff, athletic guy. Unfortunately, the events that befall the brother make Lucky into a computer nerd. He’s spent many hours researching and digging through bad scans of arcane texts in a desperate attempt to translate them. He knows just enough to be dangerous.

But oh so much more than what Caitlyn knows. (grin)

I have always felt like this Bite (chapter) of Weblinks is talking heads, but there is so much information here. Don’t worry. We’ll get back to the action soon.

P.S. If you’re wondering why there has been no dialog on these pages, it’s because I’ve taken it off. There is a joke on this page that I’m particularly fond of and I don’t want to ruin it for readers who might see it here first. So, if you want to know what it is, you’ll have to get to reading the comic. Hopefully this page will post next week, maybe two weeks from now.

 

 

Progress – March 19, 2018

Much like the ruins of New Lilinar, my story has crumbled.

With less than a month until publication, I have discovered too many issues with Prince of the Ruined Land. My final flaw which brought the whole thing down was realizing that Steigan had been bitten by gargaxes three times and no one says anything about it for about 20 pages.

Talk about dropping the urgency behind it.

That was after I had discovered that the main climax scene comes and I really felt like the story should end, but I was wondering why it continued on for five more chapters. Unfortunately, they were five chapters that really needed to follow for the story to work.

Again, a lack of urgency had dropped the ball.

In general, these are things that are really easy to fix. I’d already done that in the beginning of the book several months ago.

But then I was trying to think of another way to increase the urgency other than the way I’d been thinking, just in case I’d missed something, and was explaining the story to my son. He kept giving me funny looks. Then one of his questions really blew things apart. I realized I had way too many scenes that detracted from the story and really needed cut.

So I spent five hours figuring out which scenes could be cut and stripping them out. Now I have new transitions that need to be written. Plus an important scene to figure out how to put into the book. I’m at a point now where I’m trying to see if it’s needed right now in this book. Parts of it have never fit. I’m not even sure I can make them fit with what I’m going to try to do in the next book in the series.

Poor Steigan. He keeps trying to be a bad boy and he never gets to succeed.

Now, no worries. The ebook is still available for pre-order and will be released on April 17, 2018 as promised. I do also plan to have pre-order setup for the book soon, but I’m going to wait just a little bit in case I don’t have enough time to order a proof copy of the book as I had planned. This might delay the print version of the book by a couple weeks. Trying not to have that delay, but I will also take the necessary time to make a good story. A little give, a little take.

If this quick retake of the novel doesn’t work, I do still have the original and can go back to it in a flash. However, I suspect that the story will be so much better when I’m done. I trust the process and since it kept telling me that it wasn’t right, I was bound to find flaws that would strength the breach of me knowing it needed more work. A deadline, a very firm one now, will assure that I stay focused on getting it done. There’s some significant patchwork to be done, so I’ll be getting words in.

Also on the Sacred Knight front, I have finished recording Quest for the Three Books. I wish that was the first time I’d said that, but I think it’s about the third. Practice makes perfect, as does a good mic and a professional setup. I listened to a section of the second book that I had recorded some time ago and let me tell you: the difference between what I was doing then (and I thought it sounded good) and what I’m doing now are two totally different levels. I’m really glad I did a few other projects before continuing on this book.

I also splurged a bit on my audio setup last week. I bought another microphone stand, a new shock mount because the one I’m using now is broken, and a new stand for my iphone. Since I bought a shroud for my mic, I haven’t felt comfortable in my booth; it just feels crowded. A 3 1/2′ x 3 1/2′ booth is small enough without feeling claustrophobic in it. Now, I know that logically adding another mic stand to my booth isn’t going to give me more space, but if it gives me a way to shroud my mic and still read my copy without feeling as I do now, it’ll be good. I must remember to take before and after pictures.

I have my son home for spring break this week, so I’m not sure how much I’ll get done. Fortunately, he’ll have his brother around to entertain him. (grin) I get the fun of sitting back listening to them play video games together. I really have been blessed with two good children who have always been friends with each other and who help me out greatly.

I haven’t yet even begun to look at what I’ll be posting for Onesong this week either. I hope its something good. (grin)

Since I’m trying something new with Prince of the Ruined Land in order to figure out what needs fixed, I figure that will also be helpful in Onesong when I get around to patching it up. Strangely enough, the list of chapters for Prince now looks nearly as bad as the one for Onesong which I’ve shown on other posts. Maybe I’ll post what they both currently look like here later in the week. I think it’s quite funny how they both look similar. But that might just be humor that only a writer could get.

Fiction words written last week: 3.098 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,808 words

Writing month to date total:  15,776 words — my writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 11 weeks. I do want to point out that I wrote ever day last week, I just didn’t hit my goal every day. I still got the weekly word count though. I suspect it might be like this for a while as I get Prince reshaped, then I read through stories to remember where I was at in them. I really ought to figure out a way for me to keep track. I’ve seen the process other writers use, but I’ve never found a system that works for me. I think I just need to tame my writer child to only work on one story at a time. Dang that sounds boring!

Writing year to date total: 82,544 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 1 and a half hours working on Weblinks.

Audio: I spent 6 hours recording and editing audio.

Courage never gives up

It is with a heavy heart that I release Legendary Hero Comics to its fate.

I thought it was such a glorious domain and had such potential. But, alas, all good things must come to an end. Since I will not be renewing my domains with the company that currently has my domains and as of yet has never given me a response about transferring them, Legendary Hero Comics will drift into the sunset.

But never fear! A new hope arises!

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Weblinks – sketching March 15, 2018

So I still haven’t had a chance to work on my children’s story and I just haven’t been in the flow to do a Rockin’ Life comic, not after my “just let me be a rock” episode last week. Trust me, there’s a Rockin’ Life comic in all that when I have a moment to look back on it. Actually, it might be in all the words that I wrote but decided not to share — I’ll probably dig the good parts of it for a Rockin’ Life page. Soon, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Instead, today you get to see my page in progress for Weblinks. The green lines is the rough page layout. Here I’ve done some rough pencils for the first and second panels.

I should also note that when I was in Boise over the the weekend for the Sailor Moon musical, I did buy another manga how-to book, plus I bought a painting book online. Yeah, the creative spirit is still alive and kicking in my veins. (I must really stop buying books though! Really! I’m so addicted!)

Okay, here’s the Weblinks page in process (without dialog):

MS5 Pages

Progress – March 12, 2018

I lost my word count writing streak on Wednesday. I was so depressed that I really wanted to quit. I had no energy left. I went to bed. After spending all afternoon holding back the tears, I really wanted to cry myself to sleep. Of course, then the tears wouldn’t come.

It’s truly devastating to be told that the last 13 years of your life have been hijacked by a company who won’t play nice because you’re going to take your business away from them. I’ve spend less than $100/year with them between all my domains. Certainly this small amount can’t be worth that much to them. They can’t possibly be making that much after paying the domain Registrar for the renewal. Really? You’re going to be a baby over a few dollars at most?

But I have learned a very important lesson — never let someone have full control over the name on your domain (the Whois listing), and never let them be able to lock your account without you being able to unlock it. Yes, I will be doing things differently in the future. I’ve learned my lessons. No matter what happens, I will take those lessons with me. And, if that little piece of advice above helps someone else, great. If you own a domain and you have no idea what I’m talking about there, go dig around in your site and learn. Purchase a domain from someone else just to see what features they give you or don’t. Teach yourself, learn, observe, Google questions that arise. Don’t let all your domains be held by one company. Read the Terms of Service.

Yes, I am working on a backup plan. If I’m going to have to rebuild, I rebuild. It means that all writing is probably coming to a near-complete stop and that really is bad (in fact, if you’re a reader who really needs me to put out more, this really ought to upset you). I have to focus on Prince of the Ruined Land. That is quickly becoming priority one. Then, I have to rebuild the interior links all of my books as well as on the covers – print and ebooks. I have to redirect websites. I have to go into a ton of websites and update email addresses. On the bright side, this is probably a good time to set up the imprint lines I began considering at the end of last year — I considered this for the different age levels of my books. Since I’m getting so many, I don’t always remember what age they are appropriate for when I’m under pressure at a show and have a million questions coming at me at once. There’s also my newsletter to update. New banners. Business cards Updates to all of my websites — new directs for them (books, comics, art).

Do you see now why I was so depressed?

13 years.

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Rockin’ Life – March 9, 2018

I have a new Rockin’ Life posted — it is the one you saw as a work in progress in an earlier post.

Check out the new comic website while you’re there. Of course, it will be changing again soon (more on this next Monday). It also isn’t as nearly complete as I wish it was, but it will do for the moment until I can get other things rearranged.

If someone has an idea for a name for my comic site, I’d love to hear it. I really liked Legendary Hero Comics, but, well, again, more on that Monday.

Enjoy!

Progress – March 5, 2018

It’s a good thing that my love for creating far outweighs my desire to inflict destruction.

This last week in fighting over my domain names, I have wanted to put on my black hat and hack a certain web hosting company to shreds. Rather, I tried to just be annoying. The squeaky wheel gets the oil and all. Unfortunately, That has brought me no luck. Damn, I was hoping they would just hand over the information I needed so I’d go away.

But in constantly knocking at their door, I found myself losing a lot of time and energy. I have gotten nothing else done that I really needed to be working on.

Adrian told me I couldn’t include the word count on a very angry email I unwillingly had to write because I couldn’t get a response out of a company I’ve been doing business with for over a decade. To make it worse, I lost what I’d dictated earlier in the day. All those words, gone. Shakespeare would totally agree with me about that being a true tragedy.

He also wouldn’t let me include the word count from a second email. Two nights I wrote words that I pitched out to thin air. Yeah, that pisses me off.

Seeing how much time I was losing, I decided that I needed to refocus. If I was going to lose time, then it might as well be on something that needed to be done. I got my new website running for my comics. It doesn’t work as well as I had hoped, but it will do, especially in light of all that has been going on.  (Hey, Suckers at the web hosting company, by ignoring me, you gave to time to be rational about what needed to be done and I got all my important stuff off my websites. In your face, man!) Yep, I would have lost everything if I’d just transferred my domains and closed my account before taking a moment to realize that I had a lot of text with my posts, especially on Rockin’ Life.

I do still need to go through posts on my betterwriterblog.net site. I think I’ll copy important posts to a Word document and save it, but I suspect that in the end I will not be continuing this site. I will let it go.

This is certainly not what I wanted to be doing at this time of year.

While I haven’t gotten as much done this week as I would have hoped, I still did get daily writing done. Even after writing two emails lost to cyberspace.

On Onesong, just as a reached 140,000 words in the story, I realized that I was going in a wrong direction. Yes, some of the things I’d been writing had given me food for thought — there are some things I really need to dive deeper into or at least contemplate. But my gut just told me I couldn’t continue it. I have no idea how much I’ll have to cut at this point, but I definitely have some pruning to do to get back to the part of the story that felt right. I trust the process.

I also worked on Stonecharmer. I need a moment to go back and re-read what I have written. But I have several stories that are sitting at that point.

As for my children’s story, well, that decision became easy. I went looking for the story I really wanted to work on so I could start dividing pages, and discovered that I don’t have a digital version. It’s only on paper. So I went to the other option, which got scanned in and cleaned up last summer. But I didn’t get much further than that.

Thanks to still having head congestion, I haven’t been working too much on audio this last week. I’ve been doing some story cleanup and merging voices into chapters — things I don’t have to have real clear hearing for.

Well, wish me luck for this next week. I really would love to have this whole domain mess cleared up. I have better things to be doing than wasting my time over someone who wants to be a baby over losing business rather than being a professional.

Let’s see what I got done:

Fiction words written last week: 4,924 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,619 words

Writing month to date total:  30,474 words words for February, 3,678 so far for March – my writing streak for hitting my daily word goal is now at 61 days (which was a stretch to keep this streak up this week) and hitting the weekly goal for the last 9 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 70,446 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 2 and a half hours working on Rockin’ Life and Weblinks.

Audio: I spent 2 editing audio.