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.




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Progress – February 11, 2019

I’ve been binge watching Stargate Universe, again. It’s strange. I’ve even had a few people point it out to me; I write fantasy fiction, but I love watching sci-fi. I wonder why that is.

Usually I watch television while I’m doing something else. Like right now I’ve got Stargate Universe on and I’m working on this blog post. However, I’ve had large chunks of time this last week when I realized that I was watching the show and not doing anything else. Then I panic and have to get words done. The only way that happens is by me turning on Pandora and listening to music.

But I needed some time to veg out. It gave me some creative space.

Continue reading

The death of romance

Yesterday I mentioned that there is a part of me that misses writing romance. I told you that today I would tell you why.

It has to do with something my mother told me.

It was during this one summer when I was about 14 or so. I’d found out about a contest for teen authors. Back then, no one wanted anything written by a kid, so I was always striving to make myself as professional as I could so publishers wouldn’t know I was just a kid. But when I saw this contest, I knew I had to go for it.

I had two months before the deadline. I accomplished about 80 pages in that time. Handwritten. Realizing I had only three days left before I had to mail the story and it still needed typed in proper manuscript format, I spent an entire night awake trying to finish this story. I wrote 40 pages overnight.

The next day, I enlisted my mother’s help to type the manuscript. She often helped my dad as his secretary and she’d had typing classes in school. I hadn’t gotten there, so I was a very slow typist at that time. I knew if I had to do it by myself, I wouldn’t get it in the mail soon enough. So I begged her to help me.

Sometime in the early afternoon, she got up to take a break. I was still typing away. She came to stand by me and her hand set gently on the page that I was typing up. I remember that she didn’t look at me right away. I stopped typing. She said to me, “You know, for someone that has never had a real relationship, you write very well about them.” Then she continued on into the kitchen to get her lemon lime soda pop.

I realized then that she wasn’t only typing my manuscript for me; she was reading it too.

I didn’t win the contest, but considering the length of time it took for me to get a response, I’ve always liked to think that I might have been among the finalists. It didn’t really matter though. My mother had given me a supreme compliment.

After that, she was always telling me that I needed to go write for soap operas. I very nearly did. Until I got dumb and found romance. Then I lifted that cover and saw that the romance of storybooks does not exist. Fortunately, I had good friends who saw that I was writing fantasy cake with romance icing and they convinced me that it was okay as long as I didn’t layer on that icing too thick.

I am foraying back toward romance a little. I have some great ideas involving my novihomidraks (new humans born of the dragons) that I want to write about. I wrote most of a book about a character named Siva and her novihomidrak, Rake, last year. There were some side characters in that story that nearly demanded that I work on their story next, but I convinced them that I wasn’t quite the writer that I needed to be in order to tell the story they wanted me to and that I needed more time. Believe me, I wasn’t lying to them and I’ve been working on techniques in other stories I’ve been working on so that I can get to where I need to be for their story. It’s going to be amazing. But Siva’s “romance” has to come first. I hope my readers forgive me for letting the icing get a little thick on these stories. It’ll be interesting to see how they all turn out. I’m excited about telling them and I love that we now live in a world where people don’t have to be constrained by genre. 

Oh, I’m also glad that I the two stories I’d spoken about yesterday didn’t get published as romances. They both came awfully close with publishers, but I now know why the universe took me out of the publishing arena when I got too close to achieving that dream. I wouldn’t have survived as a writer. 

As for the manuscript my mother helped me type all these years ago, I do still have the story. I’ve thought about typing it up and putting it online, but I’m afraid that with how much I’ve grown as an author I’d want to be cleaning it up too. I have too many stories like that already. Have I even mentioned my Silver City Seductress story? Yeah, I can laugh now, but there’s a part of me that wants to share that story. I keep trying to figure out if I can rewrite it as an alien sci-fi adventure. I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t dabbled with that. Someday I will have time to edit some of these older stories. I did that with Let’s Make a Deal. I added very little to that when I edited up and put it out to publication pasture. 

Enchantment’s Flame was the title of Elliot’s book back in the day. Maybe I’ll change the name of the character and put it out there some day. Now, if you ever see that title hit my roster, you’ll know.  

Until next time, happy adventuring!

Dragons of Wellsdeep – Chapter 22

Unless I write very fast and miraculously discover how this story is to end, we’re down the last couple of chapters. The world may just have to wait to figure out how this ends (including me). 

Yeah, I know — it would be so cool if I’d focus on one project at a time. Sorry, I just can’t write like that. My artist child is a 2 year old who wants to play with everything at once. And a new story is like a new toy — it gets the attention.

Aw, you know me too well! Yes, I have a new story. 

For some time, I’ve wanted to write the story of when Steigan and Martias ran away to go join the Palin Wars. For Steigan, it was all pretty cut and dry. He got in serious trouble afterwards. I kept telling myself that there was no story there. A series of events do not a story make. 

But on Monday, the story started “downloading” to me from Martias’ point of view. At first, I started thinking that there was no way that I could make it work from Martias. That’s not going to stop my 2-year-old artist child from whining and crying to get her way. So, I figured what the heck could it hurt to at least start writing it down and see how far it went. After the first session, I kept thinking that there was no way I could write it without giving away parts of Quest for the Three Books

Yeah, that’s definitely not making the artist child happy. She’s stomping and demanding that she can do, that she is a big girl and doesn’t need to listen to me. 

So far, she’s been right. 

She’s so giving me a raspberry, big and wet, full of thththtp sounds. 

We’ll see how far she gets. She just can’t tell this story without diving in deeply into Martias’ deep, dark secrets. 

On the other hand, I’m getting to know Martias pretty well. I know how this adventure changes him. I’m also seeing a character arc that I didn’t know was there. 

When I stop to think about my theory to “trust the process,” I realize that I’m probably needing to write this story now so that I can get back to work on The Missing Thread

Yeah, my artist child might be very right about this. So sorry that she doesn’t want to play with Moonhunter and Balthier at the moment. Who knows though. Sometimes she surprises me. Well, let’s get you to the story. 

 

Dragons of Wellsdeep cover small
Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

Dragons of Wellsdeep

Chapter 22

by Dawn Blair

Chapter 22 was available for one week and has now turned back into a pumpkin. If you missed it, click on the links below to find it or another great story to read. There’s also another free story or story excerpt somewhere around my blog – I try to post something new every Wednesday. Hunt the story down, read, and enjoy!

 

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Start reading now. 

Find on Audible and start listening.

***

If you have enjoyed my work, please tell a friend about my stories. Thank you!


Dragons of Wellsdeep – copyright © 2018 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

 

Progress – 2018 official

Last year I gave a report for the 2017. I thought I’d do the same this year, just to wrap things up, even though I feel (as I’m writing this sentence) that it won’t be nearly as impressive as last year’s post. I did a lot in 2017, considering it wasn’t a very good year personally with my dad passing away. I’m sure that bleed into 2018, but maybe as I look back, I will find something to surprise me. So, let’s reflect now on 2018.

I’m running this a bit late so that I could get in all my numbers for the 31st. I wanted the year full and complete. I was going to add that I usually write during the turning of the clock to the new year, because I was told many years ago that you should be doing what you want to come in the new year at the striking of 12. Because of that, there might be a few words that I’ll transition into 2019, but actually I probably should be editing. 2019 needs to be the year of reviewing what I’ve already written. I have a lot of work to do there. So, let’s move on.

Let’s start off by talking about the numbers for the last full week of 2018.

Words written in the last week of December: 6,668 words of both fiction and non-fiction. Sorry, I forgot to write these down the breakdown before I set the sheet up for this week, so that’s all I’ve got.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,354 words today, because today all I’ve been doing is writing blogs. No fiction for you today!

Writing month to date total:  28,761 words

Drawing/painting last week: I continued working on those dang space paintings which I keep swearing I’m done with. I started playing with some acrylic fluid medium and am really enjoying how it enhances the depth of them. We’ll see how it looks when they dry. I really wanted to finish them in 2018 since that’s when most of the painting was done. I’m hoping I’m there. I also have been repairing the canvas of my lotus painting. It’s almost done. I’m thrilled because I’m not even done and the scar has nearly vanished. Pictures coming; I’ve been documenting the process.

Audio: I spent 6.6 hours last week recording and editing audio and just over 2.6 hours today. I did manage to get Fall’s Confession uploaded, so even though it won’t come out until 2019, it’s a 2018 complete. Check that box off! I have started recording the voices for Manifest the Magic and I’m ready to get started on editing the first couple of chapters.

So how did the year turn out overall?

Let me start by saying that it’s been another not fun year. In fact, I kept trying to hire an assassin to kill 2018 in its infancy. Toward the end of the year I was commenting on how fast it was going and my son replied with a comment akin to, “Well, Mom, you kept saying that you wanted to throw 2018 back and the universe knew that it couldn’t do that, so it just fast-forwarded the year for you.”

Timey-whimy, whibbly-wobbly. That’ll teach mean to wish the years away!

Of course, it certainly didn’t help matters when my websites were hijacked by the hosting provider who refused to give them back. Fortunately I still had access to my dashboard, which allowed me to at least buy new domains and redirect my websites with forwarding. But because I wasn’t sure I’d get my websites back and that my forwards would one day stop working when the websites were taken offline, I had to go back through my books and get everything pointed toward the new websites, which also had to be built on a different platform away from my original host. I had to set up new email accounts and get all my accounts all over the Internet as well as newsletters I wanted to make sure I continued to get. Honestly, I got quite a bit of all that done, but not all. I made phone calls to the registrar of the domain and to ICANN, all who had their hands tied because of the privacy settings on my domains so my name wasn’t associated with them. I wrote letters, sending them certified. I went looking for an attorney to start suing to get my domains back.

Then one late night in October, I decided to do another Google search on the company and found a post from a guy who was experiencing exactly the same thing with the hosting company, but he reported that he’s called the registrar and after about 10 minutes on the phone, got his domains back under his control. Needless to say, the very next morning, I call the registrar, found out they were authorized to return the domains to those who could provide the invoice for the domain purchase, and, well, it wasn’t 10 minutes but maybe more like half an hour, I had my domains back.

I swear that was the first thing in 2018 that went right. That same week other things started falling into place. I think I had finally turned around the series of unfortunate events that had started in 2017.

Lesson: DON’T EVER LET SOMEONE ELSE CONTROL YOUR DNS RECORDS!

Now I fully understand why I had to become an indie author/publisher. I had to have control of my copyright — the publishing industry is rampant with intellectual property thieves. Whether it’s your domain name or your copyright, it’s your intellectual property and it can be taken from you if you don’t keep control of it. Don’t ever think a contract is going to keep you safe, especially if you go with the one that is offered; it’s not written for your benefit. I learned that when I was fighting for my domains and really dug into the contracts I had with the hosting company. I had literally tied my own hands. Only because of the hosting company’s non-response did I have any leg to stand on. Literary agent and publishing contracts are not for your benefit; they are for the agent or publishing house. Let that be your final warning.

Because of this whole fiasco, I initially bought 4 extra domains, not including the .net versions of my domains so that could move everything over. Three of those domains are something I had been thinking about for a couple of years, but I hadn’t taken action. I still didn’t get to do anything with them because of the time needed for rebuilding and relinking everything. But I hope that in the next year, I can do something with them.

I currently have 10 domains. My previous webhost lost out.

And the DNS records are under my control!

Sorry, that was kind of long winded, but it took a lot of my time and energy, which meant things didn’t get done. When I’m writing and sending emails or certified letters (for which I don’t get to take the word count on!), rebuilding websites on a new platform so I could establish redirect links, or I’m having to update the web addresses in my books and republish, new words aren’t getting written and the words that have been written aren’t getting reviewed.

I knew it was having an impact on my writing and art, but until I wrote these words, I don’t think I had really considered how damaging that loss of time was. No wonder I lost my daily word counts for a while and why I couldn’t even manage to get the weekly counts in. In looking back at the data of my spreadsheet, I see that my days started to fail when I first discovered that my websites were having issues and I wrote my initial demand for the sites to be unlocked and transferred. Then, things really crashed as I scrambled to build new sites. My word counts once again pick up once I had the websites and redirects in place.

Seeing the devastation in the numbers, it’s amazing I managed to hit my yearly word goal. And it’s little wonder that my drawing and painting took a side seat.

That reflection was probably good for me. It tells me that I can get back on track all around.

Let’s see what happened.

Writing year to date total: 338,586 words. This is pretty close to what I achieved last year. So even though I had lowered my daily word count, I still hit over my 300,000 goal. I have more on this below in my reflection and goal area.

My best month was January at 36,294 words. My most productive days were Sundays, followed by Saturday. Third most productive days were Wednesday.

Continue reading

Progress – December 17, 2018

Adventures this week have been… oh, look, SQUIRREL!

Yeah, something like that.

It feels like two or three things have been going on all at once. Someday I swear I will learn to focus.

It’s just been challenging to get my words in this week, though I have been painting. It seems like that’s what I really want to be doing this week. It’s making me really consider making my word count next year into a rolling word count like I’m doing with my painting. There’s a little part of me that keeps saying, “You’ve already accomplished your word goal for the year. Give yourself a break and paint.”

Then there’s the other part of me that says that I have over 125 days into my writing streak. Do you realize how long that is of getting a certain amount of words in every day? Yeah, 125 days. Just because I have overflow one day doesn’t mean that I can just apply that to the next day. That’s not consistency!

It’s like the fight of the good shoulder angel and the bad shoulder angel. I’m tired of the constant blabbering in my head.

“But you’re doing it with your painting. Why not with your writing?”

Argh!!! Painting is different, don’t you understand that? What if I couldn’t count the words until the novel was completed?

“Maybe you’d finish more if you did that instead of bouncing between projects.”

BANG HEAD HERE!

Continue reading

Dragons of Wellsdeep – Chapter 18

Oh, I want to talk about this chapter, but I don’t want to spoil it. This is me anxiously clapping my hands together.  Ignore the woman behind the curtain. I was glad to see that I still was a few chapters ahead, so there’s a bit more to go. I’ve been so busy working on Cirvel’s story (and yes, I really think I needed to be writing it before I really got back to Sacred Knight #5) that I haven’t been working on Dragons of Wellsdeep as much lately. There are just so many stories I want to be writing and I’m so far behind with my reviews of what I’ve written that I feel like I’ll never catch up. Even my new processes I’ve been writing about earlier in the year don’t seem to be giving me an advantage. Okay, so maybe follow-thru on some of these has something to do with it, but when you realize that you have to go back and rewrite a section of story, which also means updating the outline, it has just knocked the wind right out of my sails. It’s easier to just keep writing forward. Then I feel bad because I know I need to go back. Time is so limited and the words must be done. Rearranging words doesn’t get new words written. Yeah, I’m going to have to find balance somewhere. While I’m figuring it out, why don’t you get to the story? Dragons of Wellsdeep is an epic science fantasy story filled with action, adventure, space travel, magic, dragons, and flying. Chapter 18 is available for 1 week only! Then it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new chapter will appear! 
Dragons of Wellsdeep cover small
Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

Dragons of Wellsdeep

Chapter 18

by Dawn Blair

Chapter 18 was available for one week and has now turned back into a pumpkin. If you missed it, click on the links below to find it or another great story to read. There’s also another free story or story excerpt somewhere around my blog – I try to post something new every Wednesday. Hunt the story down, read, and enjoy!

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3

Get your fix of gods and myths now. 

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If you have enjoyed my work, please tell a friend about my stories. Thank you!


Dragons of Wellsdeep – copyright © 2018 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.