Onesong – Chapter One

July 19, 2017

I’d been considering what I wanted to run this week and the answer was that I really didn’t have anything I wanted to post right now. I didn’t want to feel rushed to finish a story, even though I’ve got several near completion.

Then, I thought about Onesong. I’ve been longing to get this one done and released, but it always seems to sit on the back burner. Longtime followers may remember this one as being the book I worked on during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – takes place every November and to “win” a writer must complete 50,000 words in a month — great if you need to get out of your own way and write. See nanowrimo.org if you want more details) a couple years ago. Then, I realized I’d actually been working on two books and had to split them apart (that was fun — not!). I’ve completely drafted Onesong, but there are still a few holes that I need to fill in. So, maybe to spur me along, I thought I’d Read the rest of this entry »


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 – 06/05/17

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!

 


The Three Books (my favorite scene)

May 17, 2017

So last week I shared with you the first chapter of The Three Books (Legend 1 of the Sacred Knight series) and I said that I’d let you read my favorite scene in the book, as well as tell you a story about why it’s my favorite.

I was writing The Three Books during a very difficult time in my life. I won’t go on about how many years it took me to write this book because it was far too long and I’ve already discussed it in many other blogs. No more lamenting. It was a season of my life and now I’m in another.

Anyway, one night when I was reading through the manuscript, I was at the scene (this scene) where Martias, Steigan’s best friend, has put Steigan down into a tomb to hide Steigan. The problem is that Steigan doesn’t know if Martias will come back down here to get him or if this will wind up being his tomb.

I was really into the story, completely wrapped up in it. It’s two in the morning or so, a cold dark night with a slight wind blowing. Just enough to be spooky. A good time to be reading this scene. I was alone in the house because my children were off visiting their dad for the weekend. I probably should have gone to bed long before.

In the scene, Steigan starts hearing this “scratch, scratch, scratch” noise. I’m right there with Steigan and I felt my heart start to pound.

Suddenly, in the back of the house, I start hearing this “scratch, scratch, scratch.” No, really! I stopped reading. Now I’m listening. Silence.

I go back to reading. I hadn’t read more than a couple sentences when I start hearing, “Scratch, scratch, scratch,” again. This time, I know that it wasn’t just my imagination. I’m looking around to see what’s around me that I can use as a weapon.

Scratch, scratch.

What if it’s the corpse from the tomb? What if I’ve written Saint Steigan to life?

Scratch.

Okay, so I know that can’t be happening, right? Right?

The scratching grows louder.

My heart’s racing.

Thump!

I jump completely out of my chair. I’m ready to go running from my house.

Then I realize it’s my cat, Coville, back in his litter box. He’s the one scratching and trying to properly cover up the business he’s just done there. There is no one coming to get me.

As I settled back down into my chair, I grabbed my computer and started adding to the scene while my heart still fluttered with the memory of the fear. I deepened this scene for myself that night, adding little details in which came out of my experience of being scared by my cat. (scaredy cat – grin!)

I’ve never been able to read this scene now without thinking about my cat in his litter box. Stranger is that when I hear Coville back in his litter box, trying to cover up his business just so, I think of this scene. Yes, strange, but true.

So now, let’s read the scene, shall we?

The Three Books cover new small 041817

 

The Three Books (Legend 1 of the Sacred Knight series)

Excerpt

This excerpt was available for one week only and has now turned back into a pumpkin. If you missed it, click on the links below to get the book now. There’s also another free story or story partial somewhere around my blog – I try to post something new every Wednesday. Hunt the story down, read, and enjoy!

Read the entire book now.

The Three Books – Copyright © 2011 Dawn Blair

Published by Morning Sky Studios
Cover and layout copyright © 2017 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Vadmary | Dreamstime.com and  © Bborriss | Dreamstime.com


The Three Books (Chapter 1)

May 10, 2017

Wednesday kind of sneaked up on me. I know… how can that happen when it comes around every week? Well, it’s been a strange week.

I’ve been thinking about sharing my favorite scene from The Three Books, but I think a little setup is needed first. So, I thought that this week I’d share with you the first chapter of the book. Then, next week, I’ll share my favorite scene as well as a small personal story about the scene.

Let’s get started, shall we?

A sample chapter from my fantasy series, Sacred Knight. Available for 1 week only! Then, it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new excerpt will appear.

Enjoy

The Three Books cover new small 041817

The Three Books (Legend 1 of the Sacred Knight series)

Chapter 1

This chapter was available for one week only and has now turned back into a pumpkin. If you missed it, click on the links below to get the book now. There’s also another free story or story partial somewhere around my blog – I try to post something new every Wednesday. Hunt the story down, read, and enjoy!

Want to read more now? Choose your platform & get the book!

The Three Books – Copyright © 2011 Dawn Blair

Published by Morning Sky Studios
Cover and layout copyright © 2017 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Vadmary | Dreamstime.com and  © Bborriss | Dreamstime.com

 


Progress – 05/08/17

May 8, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 6,958 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  1,450 words

Writing month to date total: 8,408 words

Writing year to date total: 112,562 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 5 hours on recording and editing  audio. I’m still planning on having The Doorway Prince out on Audible and other platforms in May. I really thought I was going to have it done this week, but I just couldn’t put in the time I wanted.

Week’s happenings:  First, I want to give a big Happy Birthday shout out. I won’t say who it is that is receiving it, but I know that the receipent will get it.

Well, Adrian’s hands are still healing from the bike accident over two weeks ago. He’s almost there. So I’m still walking Merlin in the mornings and evenings. That’s what’s really cut into my audio time, but in some ways, it’s kind of been fun doing that chore. I occassionally even run with Merlin for a block or two and that’s really been interesting. I think he’d be a good dog to jog with. He keeps me inspired and moving. And he loves it. Unlike bicycling ( which according to my app, I rode for 41.5 miles in April — holy cow!), I can’t keep up any distance with jogging. It’s hard on my knees, but I am up to about a two blocks, so I keep reminding myself of the Zig Ziglar method of running (a block and a mailbox) and that’s really what I’m doing.

I went and got my other son from college. I can’t believe it’s summertime already. I know it’ll fly by and I’ll be sending him back in no time at all.

Then, on Saturday, I had a show; it was the Jerome Music Boosters’ Spring Craft Fair. Just one day, but I did set up Friday night, so I only had to walk in on Saturday and start to share my enthusiasm for my stories with people. Then we packed up Saturday after the show. I was tired and went to bed early that night.

For the writing, I’ve been focusing on a story called Mystery of the Stardust Monk and the next novella in The Loki Adventures. I feel like I’m two-thirds of the way done with Mystery and about a third of the way done with Loki.

In other news, I’ve tenatively scheduled Prince of the Ruined Land to be published on June 13th. This is not set in stone yet — I’m waiting to hear back on what I sent out before moving forward on it any more than to close my eyes and point at the calendar for a date.

Well, time to carry on now. See you next week!


Progress – 05/01/17

May 1, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 9,518 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  806 words

Writing month to date total: 27,065 words for all of April

Writing year to date total: 104,154 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 8 hours on recording and editing  audio. I’m still planning on having The Doorway Prince out on Audible and other platforms in May.

Week’s happenings:  I have been taking care of my son still after his bike accident last week. I think I’ll have another week of cleaning and bandaging his hands every night. We’re still picking out gravel. Bikers — always ride with gloves! I’ve also gotten in at least half and hour of walking every day in taking the dog out for morning and evening walks, so that’s been good. I’m the only person who is still bundled up though. Until the wind stops, I won’t find any warmth in the days. I don’t care if it’s almost 60 degrees out now. It still feels like 40 to me. Thank goodness for my “no hat hair cowl” from Stacy, which I’ve been wearing to keep the wind out of my ears. It’s black with flashy gold trim around the face, so I feel pretty when I wear it too (added bonus – grin).

Writing-wise, I had my best week of writing so far this year at 10,324 total words for the week. I finished drafting the manuscript for the second origin story in the Ninjas series titled Space Ninjas Aren’t Real. It ended up being way more serious of a story than I thought it would be. I’d hoped it would be humorous and more along the lines of The Loki Adventures, but nope, it had other plans. I still see an edge of humor in it, so there is hope that by the time I bring the character to the real ninja story, she’ll be my funny one. We shall see. These characters have minds of their own.

So, if you’re curious about how all these things I’ve added up work out considering that you’ve been seeing a word count here but for a long time I hadn’t actually been finishing things, here’s how it goes:

During the end of March and in April, I created:

2 stories under 10,000 words

1 story over 10,000 words

2 novels (1 currenly 89,000 words long and the other at 85,000)

So that’s approximately 204,000 words that have come together in the last month. That’s really not to shabby.

I currently have one story that is coming up on 10,000 words, plus I have a good start on the 5th book in the Sacred Knight series, and I am over 3,000 words into the next Loki story. I don’t expect that May will see quite the same number of completions as I saw in April. I really think it was strange timing that it all worked out that way, but I do want to illustrate that if you keep working at something, eventually you will see results.

Also this week, I redid the cover for By the Numbers. And I prepared the cover for Prince of the Ruined Land (Sacred Knight #4). You can see them here.

I listed By the Numbers online, so it is now available for purchase. Yeah, getting the story ready for publications was certainly now how I imagined spending my Friday afternoon, but it’s what I got done. I now have copies of The Doorway Prince and History of a Dead Man. I’ve ordered copies of By the Numbers which I hope to have by this weekend when I do a show, but we’ll see. I’m not counting my chickens there. I got the first set of books mentioned super fast. I doubt I can be that lucky again. But it would be cool.

The show? For the sake of time, here’s a link with all the details. 

I mentioned that I was working on the new Loki story, right? Well, he’s babbling in my ear now, so I better go and get to work on him. Ever since I told him that he was next in the funnel and actively got back to work on the document, he’s been charging ahead as normal. I fully expect that I’ll be up until 3:30 a.m. again. See you all later after I’ve gotten some sleep!