Progress – September 4, 2017

September 4, 2017

This is now the third time I’ve tried to write this post. Third time is the charm, right? How about we start off with this:

Happy Labor Day.

Goodbye summer of 2017. Let’s not do that again.

While I’ll be glad for a reprieve from the yard work which I haven’t been diligent about this summer, I’m certainly not ready for the steadily approaching winter either. I’m not much of a fan of ice and snow. Maybe this winter will be a mellow one. Keep the snow in the mountains. Yeah, don’t want to think about that either. Moving on.

Last week wasn’t a very productive writing week. Certainly not as much as I had hoped. Oh well, some weeks are like that. I’m hoping the next four months can be very focused and productive.

By the end of the year, I really hope to have Stardust and The Three Books out in audio, as well as the 6th Loki novella (tentatively titled: Mischief on Wheels), Prince of the Read the rest of this entry »

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Progress – 07/03/17

July 3, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 10.579 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  865 words

Writing month to date total: 53,999 words for June, July to date is 3,472

Writing year to date total: 190,689 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted, for complete paintings, but I did sketch in my sketchbook thanks to one night when I was wide awake from 1:30 a.m. to 4:30-5:00 a.m. I also did get an hour of painting in one evening, which means that I finally destroyed a painting I’ve been staring at for a year wishing that there was some way I could save it and knowing that it was a total loss. Painting over it was the final confirmation that I had failed it. Yeah, that’s okay. The new painting that is emerging is pretty neat so far. Not all of the underpainting is covered yet and in some ways I want it to ghost through. It’ll be fun to see what happens. If nothing else, I’ll have a new painting to stare at for a year wishing I could save it and knowing it’s hopeless. (grin)

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches. Nothing official, since I was practicing in my sketchbook. I was practicing hair.  Maybe someday I’ll show some pictures.

Audio: I spent 8 hours recording and editing audio. This is actually only the time I logged. I spent a lot more tinkering around. Boy do I have some foul news. More below.

Week’s happenings: My writing streak continues. Yeah! I am now at having hit my daily word goal for 26 days. But I will tell you that sometimes I wish I would convert it to a weekly goal, rather than daily because some days are tough. On the other hand, if I hadn’t pushed myself to sit down and get the words done, I wouldn’t have had such a brilliant thing happen in the 5th Sacred Knight book. I won’t go into it now, but let’s just say that cosmic forces really needed to align for this event to happen. If I’d been distracted, I would never have seen it. But my heart said I needed to work on Steigan, rather than trying to kick the words out with Loki (he’s easy to write and I can do 1,000 without hardly thinking). I’d been dinking around with a scene all week, not getting more than 350 words done at a time. I had no idea what was going to happen — I just knew that I had to have one specific character tell Steigan something very important. That was literally all I knew. And, of course, the first think the character had done was walk off the scene, leaving Steigan to deal with everyone else. Argh! No matter how much Steigan begged, pleaded, cajoled, etc., no one was going to tell him. If you’ve read the series, then you know exactly how bad of a situation that is when Steigan asks a question and doesn’t get a reply. Yeah, it’s that bad. But neither Steigan nor myself knew what was going on. Then, the feeling came on that I had to sit down and work on it. No light bulb had gone off in my head, so I hoped that I wasn’t sitting down to lose an hour of time to only getting another 350 words done.

Then the gates opened. The character returned to the scene and started talking to Steigan. None of it was good news. Yet, it all fell in place with the story. I love it when that happens!

Trust the process.

In case you’re curious, I’m currently working on 4 novels and 2 short stories. I rotate between all of them and usually work on pieces of several of them in order to get my words in. A few hundred words here on one story, a few more on another, just keeping building until I have my word count for the day. It always seems that I’m anxious to work on one story or another and that’s the one that runs with it that day. My brain, meanwhile, is sitting back thinking about all the others. Unconsciously working on stories. Then I just get to sit back and play. Yeah, best job in the world.

Now that I’ve shared the exciting part with you, let me break the bad news. I have to re-record Loki. While recording The Last Ant and The Doorway Prince, I just made too many adjustments to my booth that I can’t duplicate the sound for corrections on 1-800-Mischief. I hear every one as clear as day. That’s just not the quality that I want to put out. One chapter is already completely re-recorded and edited — I had to do it because the ending of the chapter was so messy that re-recording was the only option. I got so close with duplicating the sound. But so close wasn’t close enough. I keep telling myself that now at least all the books should be similar in sound quality since I’ve finally got a mic placement I like. Still, that doesn’t help for the last month of working on all the audio, thinking that it was going to be ready soon, then discovering it was an epic fail. I keep telling myself the same thing that I do with writing and painting: trust the process. There has to be a reason that I’m having to do it over. I have to be happy with the work first. If it bothers me more than it entertains me, there’s a problem. Unfortunately, I didn’t uncover all the issues until chapter 7. With an 11 chapter novella, that means the one or two things I had to clean up in earlier chapters could have been overlooked, but when the ending of the book just falls apart, it’s better to scrap it all and move on. So, I’m back to square 1 – record the book. Argh!

Practice, I tell myself. I’m still learning. I am improving.

UPDATE: After writing about that, I went back and listened to it again with a different set of headphones. I re-did so of the earlier corrections I had done, but I haven’t merged them in yet. I am hoping to salvage it. It’s hard when I know what corrections I’ve made; I hear them. My job is to make them as seamless as possible. So, cross your fingers and let’s hope that I don’t have to redo the whole thing. I will if I really need to, but I do like this version and I’d not be able to get it read like that again. Besides, I’m ready to move onto the next recording. 

Last week, I also released Fall’s Confession for Kindle only. If you are an Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read it for free until September. After that, I will take the story to wide distribution like all my other stories.

That’s been all for this week.

I hope everyone in the U.S. has a happy and safe 4th of July.  See you again next week.


Fall’s Confession (Part 2)

June 14, 2017

I spent some time tweaking the cover a bit, which you can see here.

Okay, I’m excited to get on with the story, how about you? Let’s go!

Fall’s Confession is a fantasy story told in two parts. Part 2 is available for 1 week only! Then, it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new story will appear!

Enjoy!

Falls Confession cover small

This part of the story was available for one week only 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!

Find out more about Dawn’s stories here.

Fall’s Confession – copyright © 2017 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 © Albund | Dreamstime.com,  © Andrei Aristide | Dreamstime.com, and  © Mona Makela  | Dreamstime.com


Fall’s Confession (Part 1)

June 8, 2017

Wednesday caught me off guard again. Sorry. I just spend so many fun times in other worlds that the time system on this world just doesn’t work for me. I can literally sit down to write or plan out a cover and not notice several hours (or the whole day) go by.

Best job in the world!

The great news for you is that my first reader got this story back to me in time that I didn’t have to put up some sort of filler for today. However, cover design took me a bit longer than I contemplated, so I’m actually releasing this on Thursday rather than Wednesday (hint: in most time zones, it is already Thursday as I’m writing this- grin).

This story, well, I have to blame it on a co-worker. (yeah, you know who you are!) Or at least the title. She gave me the title and my brain went off running after the story.

Fall’s Confession is a fantasy story told in two parts. Available for 1 week only! Then, it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new story will appear.

Enjoy!

Falls Confession cover small.jpg

Fall’s Confession

by Dawn Blair

This part of the story was available for one week only 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!

Find out more about Dawn’s stories here.

Fall’s Confession – copyright © 2017 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 © Albund | Dreamstime.com,  © Andrei Aristide | Dreamstime.com, and  © Mona Makela  | Dreamstime.com