Progress – March 2019

At first, it was a relief not to do the weekly progress blogs. I could put the words to my story instead. I was kind of glad that I had released myself from that self-imposed obligation.

Then, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been missing them. Not doing them weekly, but the chat I had here. It was a time when I could talk to myself about what had gone on — granted, a very public chat, like talking to yourself while walking down the street. *grin*

I decided I would like to resume it, but on a monthly schedule. I hope you will like that too.

March has been busy. I’ve spent a lot of time at work, more than normal, which has taken me from my business. I can’t wait to get back to my usual routine there too. The weather has been good on a few weekends, so I’ve gotten some yard work done. Feels weird to be getting to it before May. Right now, I’m sitting outside in the sunlight with my dogs. It’s good as long as someone doesn’t come along walking their dog. Merlin doesn’t handle people or dogs (or anything not part of “the pack” very well). I’ve also been doing some work with vibration toned music in order to increase my energy (because I found that sunlight wasn’t doing enough as it usually does to brighten my spirits). I will say that I’m very glad I decided to give it a try. Normally I’d be all like, “Yes, everything is energy and vibration is nothing but a waveform energy. I don’t think different frequencies is going to help at all.” Let me just say that it does. I am feeling much better, much more relaxed and vibrant. I’ve also gotten back to meditation. All while getting words done.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been spending very much time with audio. I’m lucky if I get 10-15 minutes a day in, but I’ll take the baby steps.

I also haven’t gotten any painting or drawing done lately. Not for lack of trying here. I am back to arguing with myself about it. Long story short, I’d be better off if I’d just admit to myself that I don’t feel like drawing or painting at the moment and go and edit a story. Instead, I just waste time. Not minutes either. Like hours! It’s very frustrating. And I know the way out of it is action. Which only makes me angry at myself because I know just what needs to be done and I’m not doing any of it, or getting anything accomplished. The achiever in me hates that!

I need to take a moment and plan out my business for the next quarter, but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m wondering if I should go monthly with my planning as well. I haven’t made a decision about that yet either. This is one thing I know I need to do with thoughtfulness, not from the low-energy state where I’ve been. It’s best for me to wait for now.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Daily word goal reached for 233 days! Weekly word goal reached for 36 weeks.

Writing for the month of March: 24,635 words

Writing year to date total: 73,375 words

Drawing/painting for March: a few sketches – nothing to write home about.

Audio: About 8 and 1/2 hours recording and editing audio. I have lots of chapters started on editing, but I keep discovering lines that haven’t been recorded. Haven’t had time to get in the booth and get the missing lines recorded. Soon!

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Progress – February 25, 2019

Egads! Are we at the end of February already?

I had a good trip going and coming from Utah last week. Had some blowing snow across the road, but for the most part it was clear and dry.

Wizarding Dayz was a very family-friendly show. I did a lot of networking, met some great people, and got a cartoon done courtesy of Alex Lee Buie.

That dang dimple in my chin!

I met several writers I didn’t know before and look forward to getting to know them and their work better.

Wizarding Dayz is very Harry Potter themed, and I caught a couple wizards walking around.

Oh, and here was a shot of my booth:

I also found a stowaway among my books. Bob joined the adventure. Here he is here hiding behind Loki’s chair.

See his happy little grin? He was so pleased with himself. Just about as much as when he crashed my “vacation” when I went to a writers’ conference in Oregon. He’s such a freeloader! *grin*

At least it was only Kevin and myself going out for Chinese food at Chin Wah.

We also had dinner one night at Los Cucos, but I didn’t get any fantastic pictures of the food. Bummer. It was good. We were hungry.

I surprised myself and got my words done each day. On Friday I managed to get most of them in during the show; there just wasn’t a whole lot of traffic, so I used my time. I always figure that the fastest way to make people come up to my booth is to start to write. I get immersed and *poof* people come and pulling me out of it. Murphy’s Law. *grin* It’s just one of the many ways I hack the universe.

Earlier in the week, I finished editing Tangled Magic and got it to my reader. Yeah. I also got back on track with the audio, but I’m still not sure there’s not some I will have to throw out and re-record. I’m experimenting at this point.

As I’m writing this, I haven’t got any painting done yet, but I hope to change that soon. I want to get started on a new painting tonight (Sunday). There probably won’t be any new painting listed in my numbers below, unless I decide to do something small, but I really want to get to work on another large painting. We’ll see what I really do when I step up to the easel. I’m thinking about Mexican leftovers first.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week:  4,618 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  957 words.

Daily word goal reached for 198 days! Weekly word goal reached for 31 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  20,513words

Writing year to date total: 45,677 words

Drawing/painting last week: None for this week.

Audio: About 2 hours editing audio.




Progress – February 4, 2019

It was suggested to me last week that one of the reasons I might have been feeling so tired was because of the weather. I forget how cloudy days have such an effect. I made it a point to let more sunlight into my office and that certainly did help. I also reminded myself that I had to take better care of myself — I’d let that slip and I’m sure it also took it’s toll. As a result, I got a lot done even with my day job taking up extra time as it always does at the end of January.

So as soon as I started to get my energy back up, I got to work on the cover for Cirvel’s story, which I think will begin to run next week on my blog. It’s still in draft form, but I’ll have a cover reveal later this week. I also realized that I never finalized the cover for Walk the Path, the second part of Rivic’s story. So, I have that to be working on. Maybe getting it done will help invigorate me to get the edits done for Tangled Magic and Walk the Path. I’m about three quarters of the way through Tangled Magic, but I have found a big section that needs some help. Basically, I have Rivic leaving Cirvel’s chambers and having a fight with Nyree, chapter break, then Rivic is returning to Cirvel’s chambers. In rearranging scenes, I ended up butting these two up against each other. Something has to be fixed. I’m not sure what I want to do, if I just want to have a short transition or if I want to fill the space with another scene. The latter feels as if that’s the best option, but I worry about being able to balance the books. Yep, I’m glad that I’m writing them together.

I also had an experience were I looked out a window and saw something red hanging from a tree branch. It was merely a speck that I could barely see, but I wondered what it was. It was one of those moments when I felt a character invading. She told me it was a ribbon and now that it was red, she knew that her beloved was dead. Within 900 words, I suspected that I was writing the story about how the Plenelians came to hate magic. I’ve always wondered why. It’s been a question I’ve been pondering for nearly 30 years. Yes, a story I wrote that long ago featured the Plenelians, but I didn’t realize it at the time — it actually came in splitting the first draft of Rivic’s story (back when I’d been writing it for Nanowrimo) that I realized my character was a Plenelian. Yeah, if you’re confused, try being in my head for a while. *grin*

That story had now created over 3,000 words this week. Write it down while it flows.

I returned to work some on Elliot’s story when Cirvel’s slowed down. Since those two tie together, I have a feeling I’ve got to get them to work in conjunction. I found a huge hole in Elliot’s story — there’s a plot element from a long time ago when Elliot’s story was originally a romance (remember that time from 30 years ago I’d mentioned earlier — yeah, same dumb portion of my life, back when I believed in romance). Anyway, that aspect of the setting has got to go. I tried to keep it, but I find it interfering with the story I’m trying to tell now. I had to go have a chat with Cirvel about what he was trying to accomplish. That interview is going slowly; the man can be stubborn when he wants. However, I think I have what I need to know, but there’s going to be some rewriting on Elliot’s story to clean out the junk. And you know, I’m rewriting this whole damn book all because there is one scene I want to preserve from the defunct romance. One scene. I have almost the whole manuscript sitting in a drawer. How easy would it be to pull it out and just retype and publish that? Very. But I can’t get behind that story. I didn’t realize then that it was part of Cirvel’s story. I don’t want to tell it as a romance any more. I changed Elliot’s character completely. They really are no longer the same story.

Don’t worry, the original version of Quest for the Three Books was a romance too. That turned out much better because I took the awful romance out of it.

Okay, there is a part of me that misses the romance, back in that time of my life where I could believe in it. Why? For the sake of not running this blog too long, I will tell you tomorrow. How does that sound?

Great! Onward then.

I finished the edits for the audio for Oxygen and I got the audiobook cover done for that. I still need to make a correction before I upload the audio, but it’s a simple correction. I just need a moment to do that and start the upload.

Meanwhile, I’m back to recording Manifest the Magic and I’m hopeful I can salvage the voices I have already done. I merged in voices on the first chapter and I like the way it sounds.

I also finished another space painting this week. I hope to have more on that later this week too.

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week:  5,093 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,333 words.

Daily word goal reached for 177 days! Weekly word goal reached for 28 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  25,164 words for January , 3,851 for February so far.

Writing year to date total: 29,015 words

Drawing/painting last week: Finished a 9″x12″ painting that I want to incorporate into a larger painting. Also still working on that larger piece I started last week.

Audio: I spent 6 hours editing and recording audio.

Progress – January 28, 2019

There are some weeks when I am just tired. Last week was one of them.

In trying to reboot my painting, I have several decisions to make. That lead me, of course, to research to find tools that will help me and that, obviously, leads me to testing several different tools to see which one(s) I like.

What frustrates me is that I had a tool I liked. It had years of data in it. I did want to clean it up some, maybe divide the database. But because of changes in technology, the program doesn’t work quite right any more. The company that developed it still has a website that for the last two years has asked for patience while they update their systems — they want to move to a cloud platform. However, I’m not sure they are serious about that any longer. I have exported the artwork data from the program, but it’s not easy to import without a lot of cleanup, mapping fields, and making it fit a new program.

With that experience, I don’t want to start something else that could potentially disappear or become obsolete. Which makes me think about paper files — good until a fire, or flood, etc.

So, it makes me leery to pull the trigger on anything. I don’t want something I will just end up rebuilding in seven to ten years. I realize that technology changes and that we have to have forward movement, but it seems like everything always needs constant updating and when a business no longer wishes to continue, they just close up. No one wants to build for a legacy, only for the current moment (and dollar, though I’ve read that the average lifespan of a solid business is about 30 years). It makes me tired.

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Progress – January 21, 2019

Boy did I make my inner artist-child angry last week!

She got so mad at me that she hijacked the ship. Every time I went to get my words in, I felt her sticking her tongue out at me. I will share more about this later in the week. Trust me, my artist-child is such a brat!

I went over the weekend to Boise to watch the Dragon Ball: Broly movie. Certainly not as good as Spider Man: Into the Spider-verse, but it was fun to spend time with the boys. They also let me pop into Guitar Center so that I could play with some microphones. I found one I really liked. Now I can’t wait to get it hooked into my booth and get to working with it. I still have the second half of Oxygen to record before I do that though. I might keep my AKG mic and do character voices on it, but this new mic will be great for narration. I’m so excited.

It has taken me a week to get through the audio on the first part of Oxygen which I recorded last week, but I’ve been happy with the editing speed. It’s much more reasonable. The channel strip I added works well.

I’ve also been working on the edit for Tangled Magic. I haven’t gotten in time every morning, but since it’s a new habit, it’s taking time to get into place. As I had figured it would.

That’s really all I have for this week. Let’s look at the numbers.

Fiction words written last week:  2,914 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,533 words.

Daily word goal reached for 163 days! Weekly word goal reached for 26 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  16,020 words

Writing year to date total: 16,020 words

Drawing/painting last week: I only got in a little 5″x7″ painting. Better than nothing.

Audio: I spent 3 and a half hours editing audio.

Progress – January 14, 2019

I’ve still been working on the story about Martias and Steigan heading to the Palin Wars which I referenced last Wednesday. I’m trying to slant it so that a reader could pick it up at any point in the story, even before reading Quest for the Three Books, without much in the way of spoilers. So far, so good.

It is a little strange because while I have known Martias’ motivations for quite some time, I hadn’t every really thought about where his head would be at when he and Steigan ran away to the Palin Mountains. We’ve “chatted” about how he felt when he first arrived at the Temple, and even how he felt when he was nominated for the position of Holy Sapere, but I hadn’t really needed to know how he felt along the way on that path. So, this provides me with interesting insights into his character.

I also love his view of Steigan. I’m so use to being in Steigan’s head, where he is always so noble and upstanding. Let’s face it, even when he had no memories, I knew who he was because I knew how he’d act on instinct alone. Admittedly, that might be why I’m having issues working on book 5 (The Missing Thread) because Steigan’s headspace is so messed up that he doesn’t know who he is anymore. That, and the fact that I have no idea about Keteria waking up. I know when I write the correct scene, I’ll know it. It just hasn’t happened yet. Anyway, that aside, it’s fun to see what Martias thinks about and what he withholds. Steigan is cut and dry. He speaks his mind. Marias, he refrains. Again, that’s not something new with Martias — I’ve known he doesn’t always tell Steigan everything, but I see how he is event the trickster character in his own mind. It’s fun.

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