Progress – December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017

I didn’t get as much done this week as I would have hoped. I spent most of my time trying to figure out what to do with Onesong. At the moment, my timeline for the story covers two medium sized white boards, plus has about 10 pages of notes. I have the poor story in shambles, trying to get it all wrangled around to where it needs to be.

That’s not even mentioning my own internal angst about how much work this is and how much I have to go. I realize that this part of it is just my brain whining about it like a two-year-old child who would much rather be watching television than cleaning her room. Writing is so much easier than fighting through this slog and trying to get it all to make sense.

Which is only made worse by my own doing of posting a chapter here on this blog each week. (grin) This is what it’s like to write/edit a novel in public!

If you really want to hear my two-year-old self whine, remind it that it still need to do the Read the rest of this entry »

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Progress – November 27, 2017

November 27, 2017

I don’t really have anything to say. Thanksgiving was good. I enjoyed the time with my boys. And I got some writing done. What more needs said?

Here’s this week’s numbers.

Fiction words written last week: 8,957 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,750 words including a character sketch which feels like Loki popped his head in to narrate part of it.

Writing month to date total:  35,471 words

Writing year to date total: 351,912 words

Drawing/painting last week: Some sketching. I chided myself a lot about not working on my comics, promised myself I’d make a plan and schedule some time. Yeah, nothing got done. I know that I have to want to do it, not make it be a should do. I guess I haven’t properly figured out why I want to work on my comics and kids books, at least not enough to find the motivation to charge ahead. I do know some of it really is making time to put myself in the chair to do the work. I do need to schedule time. Once I’m started, I always enjoy myself. I have no issues with self-direction, except when it comes to my drawing. I think I have a lot of things right now which are frustrating me (and, no, I really don’t want to share).

Audio: Almost 7 hours of editing audio. See, this is one of the things I have scheduled to do in my days and it gets done. I’ll share that much.

See you on Wednesday for Onesong.


Progress – October 23, 2017

October 23, 2017

Last week involved a lot of getting ready for a writers conference, driving to the conference, and beginning the conference. It started Saturday night and will run through next Saturday.

I say this because I will soon lose track of days. If I don’t have my usual Wednesday post done on time, you know why. I am trying and fully intend on having it up as usual, but I Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – 04/17/17

April 17, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 6,362 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  572 words

Writing month to date total: 12,737 words

Writing year to date total: 89,826 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.

Week’s happenings:  I got the 4th book in the Sacred Knight series finished! Prince of the Ruined Land is off to a first reader. I finished drafting (I think — it’s a strange story) a story about a crazy novihomidrak. That makes two characters that haven’t gone through a dragon birthing very well. I sense a theme. I did also finish drafting another story about a new kind of dragon and I’m halfway through another story that is a companion story to that one. It felt like this was a week of finishing things up.  I also keep having this idea to rebrand the Sacred Knight series. I was trying to work on cover ideas for Prince of the Ruined Land and then I had a fight with myself (thank you to my children for listening once again while I ranted to them just so I could have a sounding board) about whether to go with photos and rebrand or if I should just paint the covers as I have been. I finally decided I would attempt a rebrand with the ebooks. I’ve already posted the cover to Amazon, so we’ll see what happens. I’ll fix the other distributors later, but I wanted to see if it would have any impact on Amazon now.

Here’s a look at the cover:

The Three Books cover new 041617 72 dpi

I’d love to know what you think about the new cover. If you want to see what the previous cover looked like, you can see it here. I’m not sure this is a final, but I thought it might be a starting place. It’s the cover for To Birth a Destiny which I’m very excited about. That’s the one that made me decide to try a rebrand. In the meanwhile, I’m learning I can do a lot of things with Photoshop. On the other hand, it doesn’t drive me to improve my traditional art skills any. What a conundrum. But, we shall see what happens and maybe I’ll have my answer.

Until next week!

 


Progress – 02/13/17

February 13, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 6,216 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  1,687 words

Writing month to date total: 10,446 words.

Writing year to date total: 32,603 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent almost 3 hours on editing audio.

Week’s happenings: I accomplished much last week. I finished reading through The Doorway Prince. I just kept having to add scenes to it. Adding, adding, adding until it clicked and announced that it was done. After that, it seemed like a flurry of activity to get it uploaded for pre-order. Watch for Wednesday of this week when I have an excerpt from the book here on this blog. I also got History of a Dead Man up as a print book. At this moment, it hasn’t been released and while not a new book, I hadn’t planned on it being in print version until I released the 4th Sacred Knight book. Surprise! Well, more on that in a couple weeks. I updated my Zibbet store to add items. I also updated my book website. I got my February newsletter out. What, you didn’t get yours? Well, be sure you’ve signed up. Click the “Sign up for Dawn’s email newletter” button off to your right to make sure you don’t miss out on more sneak peeks and fun stuff.

I’m surprised I didn’t get any painting done yesterday. I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday with this piece of advise someone in a dream was telling me. I couldn’t completely shake off the dream to write it down, but I remember waking up several more times during the night with it repeating in my head. The advise: “An artist who believes his canvas is white remains invisible.” This probably doesn’t make sense to someone who doesn’t paint, but I remember the context of the dream right before this line was said to me. I was talking to this unknown someone about the gesso (a preliminary paint used on canvas) being white already so why did I need another layer of white? I know that probably has no meaning for anyone, but let’s see if I can explain and maybe even I will glean some additional value out of it. In the dream, I was complaining that the canvas already had paint on it, white. How could I do anything when it had already been painted on? I was obviously having blank canvas syndrome.

After I woke up and began to write down the quote, I had to expand it. “An artist who believes his canvas is white remains invisible. A writer who believes his page is blank remains untold.”

That was when this really started to come together for me.

Many writers I have both known and heard about have faced the blank page, whether it be a literal piece of paper or a blank computer screen. They sit there and do not write. They fear that they won’t be perfect. They can’t get out of their head to tell their story. I thank my lucky stars that I have never been afraid of the blank page, even when I had writer’s block and spent many years not writing. Even then, I could always find the hole on the page and slip through it to another world; I just felt all my words were crap. Hint: that’s usually a sign that you’re leveling up. I know that now. The blank page never remains that way for me for long. I write. I tell stories. I don’t even care if anyone else reads them or not. I’ve shared if people want to access them. I’m moving onto the next story. No blank pages. I see through to another time and place; I take the next adventure. My page is never blank and so my stories get told.

My illustration on the other hand, is a whole different creature. My canvases are blank. I am remaining invisible. I don’t know who I am as an illustrator. That’s what this dream was telling me. I have to find that same hole and slip through to see the artwork that is already created. I don’t know how to do that.

Okay, so there are some people who would say to just start throwing paint at the canvas and see what develops. I’ve done that, and I’ve had success (which in itself can be scary because it’s a power one has no control over and yet needs to respect). When I have a story idea, I usually start with a character who begins just talking to me and won’t shut up. I don’t know what to listen for with the painting. I don’t know what to look for. I feel blind. It’s invisible.

And yet I really wanted to paint on Sunday. Badly. I’d written early in the morning and by the afternoon, I wanted to switch to painting, but I didn’t know what to paint. I didn’t even pull out my paints because I didn’t want to face the blank canvas. Or, blank Bristol Board as the case probably would have been. Do I believe that my painting surface is white? I must for my work remains invisible.

I remember thinking at one point last night as I woke again with the quote circling my head that I could paint all my canvases with a light coat of burnt sienna. But all that would be doing is changing the color of the canvas, not solving the problem.

I know the answer, for it is the same thing answer for the blank page syndrome for writers: Just start. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good. Just do something.  Give yourself forward movement. The block points to leveling up.

If I let my canvases remain white, the magic I want to share with the world will never been seen.


Progress – 02/06/17

February 6, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 2,543 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  642 words

Writing month to date total: 2,543 words.

Writing year to date total: 27,400 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent almost 1.5 hours on editing audio.

Week’s happenings: I thought last week was a low week for writing, but I was wrong. Overall though, that’s okay — I survived January. I wish I could say it was a victory, but I just feel tired. But that’s what two really late nights will do. I haven’t been able to recover yet. It has left me with a lot of writing undone. But January is behind me. I took this last weekend “off.” Yes, quotes intended. My son came back from college for the weekend and my other son wanted to go to Boise to see Sailor Moon R, so we took a trip. The good part is that I did get a little time to spend in the hotel’s pool and hot tub. I also took some time to record what I’ve done over the last quarter as well as plan out what I need to be doing over the next quarter. Focus. I might not have been very much in control of that during the last weeks, but I knew that was going to happen every now and then, especially at the end of January. That’s why February makes a good time to get refocused. Getting away, even on a simple trip like one to Boise, was a great way to do it. Now I can get back in the game. Okay, so some of the game right now consists of getting The Doorway Prince for release. I’ve spent a lot of time also this week getting that done. I still have some work to do on that project, but I’m close. More to come on that. After I get a little more sleep! (grin)


Freehand Friday – 12/23/16

December 23, 2016

A drawing from my sketchbook:

sentinels-and-ruins

Idea for a painting
pencil and paper
©2016 Dawn Blair

This started out as architecture practice and grew. Of course, I had to add trees. I wonder what stories these trees would tell about the ruins?