Progress – August 13, 2018

August 13, 2018

For the last few weeks, I’ve been telling myself that “this weekend I’ll get to go upload audio.” Well, this last weekend was when it came true.

When I upload an audiobook, I like to go sit at Starbucks. First off, coffee = yes, please! Second, I don’t often go to Starbucks (I usually go to Barnes & Noble which is a cafe serving Starbucks coffee. It never quite tastes the same. I have yet to have a drink at B&N that tastes exactly like Starbucks — and I prefer the way B&N does it, so double yes please to books and coffee). So a trip to Starbucks is actually a break from my usual routine and and therefore a treat. Thirdly, killer Internet! I can upload the files much faster than anywhere else I’ve found so far.

Now, I just sit back and wait for my files to be approved. Fingers crossed on that one. I’m a little worried. Plus, I didn’t do my final listen through on this book (another worry). After spending 6+ years trying to record this book and trashing so many rotten versions, I just can’t listen it to once more. You know, this book is the whole reason I threw in the towel and bought myself a Whisper Room; I despised the sound I was getting, not to mention having to wake up at 2 a.m. on the weekends to record so I didn’t have noisy neighbors, cars, birds, cat fights, barking dogs, owls, crickets, etc. in the background of my recording. When I had the rain and wind in the middle of the night, plus I was a wreck for several days afterwards from a strange sleep schedule, I decided trying to have my own homemade studio was not what I wanted to do. I wanted it to be quick and simple: a good recording, quick editing, done and released to the world.

Quest for the Three Books audiobook cover small

Yeah, let me tell you, even with the Whisper Room, it’s a journey I’m not sure I’ve ever been prepared for or one that I will ever be successful at. And I feel this way every time I release a new audio. I never feel like it’s good enough. I know there are still flaws in this, which is why I had to let it go. If I went through it again (and I can say this as a fact from where I’ve re-listened to parts of it in trying to find something I wanted to use as a sample), I would ditch all the audio again and re-record it over again. No matter how careful I was when I was going through it, I was always going to hear something that needed fixed. You get the loud clicks out of an audio and all the small ones come jumping back at you. Read the rest of this entry »

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Progress – July 22, 2018

July 23, 2018

Pre-bike ride of 12 miles:

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I survived.

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At least I was good during the bike ride and recovered well enough to go walk another half mile at the gym and then went and walked around an “craft” show. I use that loosely because it was supposed to be a craft show but was mostly an MLM show. Sigh.

Then I went home and got sick. Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – June 18, 2018

June 18, 2018

Adventuring in time and space has been a week of dodging laser bullets and maintaining radio silence. What a week.

Oh yes, I have many great notes on it.

This week’s adventures have included hanging out with a ninja-to-be. Shhh! He doesn’t know he’s on the path to becoming a ninja, but it is the third origin story. When I hang out with Alex Dent, I must be super quiet. The world they are on have an unknown, but very deadly entity on it. All the soldiers on this planet they hope to colonize are scared.  Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – May 7, 2018

May 7, 2018

Can I just chalk last week up under the category of “Strange & Bizarre” and move on?

Yeah, let’s do that.

But because of events of last week, I haven’t quite been feeling myself. I’m okay, but at the same time, something is off. It’s like an annoying slightly pulled muscle, the kind where you twisted your ankle or something and it hurts just mildly enough to let you know it’s sore.

Yeah, it’s weird.

And, it sent me into designing covers mode. You saw the cover for Tangled Magic. After I finished that cover, I went back to the cover design for the 6th Loki novella. I hope to have that finalized this week. I also have design ideas for Dragons of Wellsdeep and Walk the Path (what I am going to call the 2nd Onesong book — more on that in a moment). So here I am with stories I’m working on and covers already in process. I have to admit that it feels a little strange and bizarre — in my new processes of being more prepared for the publishing side of the work, it just feels weird to have titles and covers so early, before the manuscripts are even completed. That’s just unnatural for me. I’m glad to see it, but there’s still the part of me that’s screaming, “BUT WHAT IF YOU CHANGE SOMETHING?” I hate it when the critical voice shouts at me, especially in all caps.

As most of you know, I started Onesong as part of Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month held in November). I finished the 50,000 words and had almost a complete novel. Afterwards, I realized that I really had two novels that I’d been writing at the same time – an interesting feat that probably is also under the category of “Strange & Bizarre. Half the novel was Rivic’s story, which I had titled Onesong. The other half was part of a novel I’d actually been writing nearly 25 years ago now. I only have a portion of that manuscript — most of it has been lost to time, mail, bad events, floppy drives, who knows. I still have the general plot in my head and I was trying to recreate it without having to suffer the agony of rewriting a book I should still have — yes, I do have another one of those stories (a complete manuscript called Enchantment’s Flame of which I have only the first three chapters of and which probably suffered the same fate as the one previously mentioned. I’ve tried to rewrite this manuscript based on what I have and new parts I want to add and it’s frustrating. I have cried over the loss of this manuscript.) So, yes, I was subconsciously rewriting a new story which would take over my heart and allow me to release the old draft like a dying phoenix to let the new rise from the ash. Honestly, when I realized my Nanowrimo manuscript was really two, that previous metaphor is exactly how it felt. Oh, it was painful making the split because the stories were like conjoined twins who shared organs.

I haven’t even gone back to the section that I’ve split off yet because I don’t know how much patching I will have to do. But if I’ve learned anything this last year, it’s that I can sew Frankenstein’s monster back together and make it live.

I’m really not sure how I like the idea of conjoined twins being compared to Frankenstein’s monster in regards to my manuscripts, but it feels appropriate.

After a discussion about what the title of the first book for Onesong should be, and agreeing that it had to be Tangled Magic, I soon realized that of course it had to be called Tangled Magic because it’s twin book was already called, Wild Magic. Yes, that’s the title of the story I’d started writing 25 years ago. And, I have this feeling that once I sit down to write it, the manuscript will be of similar length and needing divided into two books. I don’t know what the series title will be, but I’m certain that the second book in that series will be Blaze the Path.

Onesong               Unknown series title

Books #1:   Tangled Magic                 Wild Magic

Books #2:    Walk the Path                Blaze the Path

I know the missing information will fill in.

I suspect, even though I haven’t started designing them yet, that Wild Magic and Blaze the Path will also have similar covers to the Onesong stories. Oh, and before you ask, yes, Wild Magic and Blaze the Path take place on the same world as the Sacred Knight and Onesong stories. The Wild Magic story is about a set of Plenelian twins. (And now you begin to see why I say that the analogy of conjoined twins is appropriate – grin.) And, if you’ve been following Sacred Knight and understand who the Plenelians are and what the deal is with twins, then you begin to see the inherent conflicts in this story. Oh yes, this is going to be fun.

What I don’t yet know is if Wild Magic is before Onesong or after it. I know my brain has been working on it because over the weekend it was spitting ideas like slinging mud at a barn wall to see what sticks.

See, the main issue I have with placing Wild Magic is that I know I have to allow room for Elliot’s story. (You ready for this tangle? Strap on your seat belts and make sure your tray tables are in the upright and locked position because this is going to get messy otherwise.) You see, Elliot’s story is actually the aforementioned story called Enchantment’s Flame. I have the general plot, again, stuck in my head. Both Wild Magic and Enchantment’s Flame started off as fantasy romance stories. Both had major plot issues. Both had publishers request them from my synopsis and sample chapters and both were rejected. Enchantment’s Flame was written first. Wild Magic I was just finishing as the idea for Quest for the Three Books came to me (and yes, that also use to be a fantasy romance, and Keteria was the heroine in the original drafts). At the time, none of them had any relations in their stories.

But then I realized I was working with three timelines in the Sacred Knight series and it all exploded. Suddenly, I knew that the castle that was in Wild Magic was actually in Dubinshire. I also knew that the continent where Enchantment’s Flame took place was on the same world as Sacred Knight. When Ithanes mentions (I believe) in To Birth a Destiny about his father taking him to the northern continent, that’s the setting for Enchantment’s Flame, which I’m now calling Elliot’s story.

So, I’m essentially rewriting my own books, taking them out of fantasy romance to be this colossal, epic, sword and sorcery fantasy which is bigger than me most of the time. In those moments of overwhelm, all I can do is stand back, breathe, and remember to take one step at a time.

Yet its frustrating because I can’t just fix up two of these stories that I’ve already written.

But after a week of doing whatever I can to avoid working on Let’s Make a Deal (a story about an ice nymph that I wrote about 20 years ago), I can say that it’s not always easy to rework a story you wrote so long ago. If I was smart, I’d write a blog about that someday soon.

This has been an exceedingly long post, so let’s get to the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 3,561 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,785 words

Score a big #4 for my weekly word count streak.

Writing month to date total:  22,718 total words for April, 5,756 words for May

Writing year to date total: 124,251 words

Drawing/painting last week: Zip, zero, zilch – I so need to get back to painting though.

Audio: I spent 3 hours editing audio.


Progress – April 16, 2018

April 16, 2018

I have been designing covers like a mad woman this week.

It all started out when I decided to do a “quick” mock-up of the cover for The Missing Thread (the 5th book in the Sacred Knight series). Yeah, it was neither quick nor what I should have been doing. Writing the book would have been a much better idea! (Ya think!)

That cover is still a work in process — I’m still tinkering. But, other than me chiding myself about not writing, I also got irritated with myself for not working on the cover for Mystery of the Stardust Monk. Yes, it’s part of the Stardust series. It’s actually a prequel (shock! Not!) and is a tie-in for Dragons of Wellsdeep. I had started a mock-up for this cover, but hadn’t finished. Well, now it’s finished.

In looking at images for The Missing Thread, I came across an image which was perfect for a story about an ice nymph I wrote many years ago. I came across it last summer and scanned it into my computer. I had been working on editing it up for publication before my father passed away. It’s been on the back burner since then. But it has a cover now! I couldn’t believe that I had to do the cover. Seriously? But it does make me excited to get back to the story. Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018

Feeling a little bushwhacked.

No lie.

I have spent all weekend working on Prince of the Ruined Land. Will it be ready by the  release date of April 17th? The ebook version will be. Still not sure about the print, but it’s getting there. I mean, hopefully formatting won’t take too long. If I have one done, the other shouldn’t be too hard, right?

So, I’ve been revising this latest draft by using the strikeout feature in Word. That allowed me to kill passages without actually taking them out. Now, before I broke Prince, the manuscript was about 96,000 words as I recall. As of Friday when I finished threading it back together, it was over 102,000 words. After I lopped off all the scrap sections and the chapters I was pulling out, the manuscript was 70,000 words. Now it’s approximately 72,000. I hope that helps put a little perspective on why this has been a major project.

I’ve done an initial continuity read-through. I still have a little work to do to slow down or revise one scene that goes a bit too fast — end-of-book-itis? Possibly. It might need a complete tear down and revamp, but since I’ve done that to all the rest of the book, what’s one more scene?

I would still love to read through it one more time since I was still revising as I went. If I can have one draft where I don’t correct major issues, then I’ll feel a lot more confident in releasing it.

I still have a map and a character list to build. The cover needs some tinkering. Blurb for the back needs to be written. Just a few things. No worries!

Last week I also decided to start to get up earlier in the mornings. I’ve been getting up at 5:00 a.m. to work for about half an hour on audio, twenty minutes on Weblinks or Rockin’ Life, and about an hour editing. So far, this has been a workable schedule. We’ll see what happens as the weeks progress onward. I do like the idea of having scheduled time for editing. Right now it has obviously been time I’ve used on Prince, but next up is Loki. I really hope that someday I get well versed enough at my craft that I can cycle back better than I do now. It would save me a lot of time. But writing like I am now doesn’t afford me this looping. Someday.

Well, I’ve been looking at words all weekend, so I don’t even want to write at the moment. Let’s just get to the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 4,958 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,160 words

Writing month to date total:  29,009 words for March. April has a whopping total of 630 words mostly because I was reading today and deleting nearly as many words as I was putting in. No joke. At one point my word count was actually negative. My writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 13 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 96,407 words

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

Audio: I spent almost 5 hours editing audio.


Progress – February 12, 2018

February 12, 2018

I have to wonder what I was thinking with Onesong. Really!?! Let’s take a story that I know has to happen before the Sacred Knight series and make it into a novel. Brilliant idea. Not! It’s like taking a skeleton you found lying around and deciding to put muscles and flesh on it.

Yeah, can you say, “Frankenstein’s monster”?

I must be just as mad as the good doctor.

Now here’s what may really surprise some of you: this story should have been told from Alityka’s point of view.  I really intended on it being her story. I have no bloody idea why I started telling it from Rivic’s vantage. None.  Well, okay, maybe an inkling. I remember thinking that I needed to tell the story of how Rivic build Lilinar. I honest thought it was going to be something like this: drop Rivic in Gohaldinest, destroy Gohaldinest, begin Rivic’s wandering. Read the rest of this entry »