Progress – 06/12/17

June 12, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 9,131 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,649 words

Writing month to date total: 18,032 words

Writing year to date total: 151,250 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 7 hours editing  audio. More on this below too.

1-800-Mischief audiobook

Week’s happenings:  From the cover picture above, can you tell what’s coming? Yes, I hope to have the audio for 1-800-Mischief uploaded to ACX by the end of the month. I had previously recorded the audio and so far it sounds solid enough that I’m going to use it.  I figure I’m almost halfway through editing it right now — still some touch ups to make, but it’s coming along nicely.

Keep reading!


Progress – 06/05/17

June 5, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 7.865 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,290 words

Writing month to date total: May finished out with 29,064 words and June to date is at 7,252

Writing year to date total: 140,470 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted. I did get my Cintiq set up so that I can draw on it again and I spent some time last week working on Weblinks. I have a new page which I haven’t yet posted because I’m tempted to give Lucky a couple extra lines of dialog on the page and I haven’t looked at it to decide if I want to do that or not. I also spent some time inking and coloring the page for one of my children’s stories. More on that below.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches. I don’t have my digital work included in this count since that’s kind of hard to do.

Audio: I spent 4.5 hours on recording and editing  audio. More on this below too.

Week’s happenings:  Like I said above,  I set my Cintiq back up in my office. It’s been sheltered away for far too long and I was getting such an urge to get back to drawing that I could no longer take it. Then, while I was watching the videos for the writing class as well as another webinar video this week, I was working on my webcomic and children’s book. Let’s just say that my webinar video wasn’t very good, but I realized why I haven’t been drawing. Okay, it wasn’t really a new discovery. It was more of me finally admitting it to myself. I often realize something then spend another six to eight months of pounding my head against the wall to really get the lesson before it sinks into my hard head.

Last October when I was sitting in the writing masterclass, Dean Wesley Smith was talking about how he would quit if writing wasn’t fun any more. I made notes in my journal about the fun. My writing had definitely taken a turn away from that many years before, but I remembered when it had been fun and I’d just been writing for joy. I admit that I’m still trying to get that back and only recently have I really let that lesson sink in; it’s my own damn imagination and I’m telling stories to entertain me. If someone doesn’t like my stories, well, they can go find whatever best-seller they want to worship this week. I want to write for me and no one else. I write because I enjoy my worlds better than this one. But I’m wandering away from my point.

As I sat there trying to color my kids’ book, I was trying to think of realistic colors and what overall color scheme I wanted to have for the book. I sat back and looked at it and asked myself when I had decided to pick “Martha Stewart colors.” A couple hours later, the answer hit me. I had forgotten to play. In all the art studying I’ve been doing over the last decade, I forgot to have fun with it.

I was making it work.

I had totally lost the play. Worse, I had let someone else into my head to control my art, more than just Martha Stewart. I had let everyone who has ever made me conform to the standards of this world into my room. Pick a color scheme. You have to have a plan. Color inside the lines. Be smooth. Don’t clash. Don’t do something someone will hate. Do these jeans make my character look fat?

Argh!

So now I have to go back and fix the pages, pretend I have no clue what I’m doing (not hard since I usually don’t) and make them my own. I need to go have fun with them.

In other news, I didn’t spend a lot of time recording and editing audio this week mostly because I was busy listening to The Doorway Prince. I probably should have been recording my time, but since I was doing it here and there, I didn’t capture time.  I also spent several hours this last weekend resetting my microphone. I’m still trying to find that sweet spot for it. I’m hoping I’m there.  That was another 2.5-3.5 hours that I didn’t record time for.

By the way, I went back to take a look at my time from when I uploaded The Last Ant until when I uploaded The Doorway Prince and saw that I have spent nearly 100 hours working on the audio The Doorway Prince. Yep, that’s a 100 hours of recording and editing for a audiobook that came in at just over 2 hours in length. Yes, that is a bit high, but probably not too much. That is why I reset my microphone and I keep hoping to learn to get cleaner and clearer audio. I am still learning.

I also finished a short story this week. I had a bit of trouble with the ending. I kept thinking to myself that I write about outcast heroes and this character was more of a villain than a hero. Crazy to boot. I could accept the crazy, but I didn’t like the things that he had done, even though they took place in the story’s past. I kept feeling like it wasn’t complete. Good hadn’t triumphed. My brain attacked it with a vengeance.  I feared that I was going to have to do something more with it, maybe make this story part of a frame for a larger story. I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I just had to sit down and fill in some parts, then poof, it was done and I felt good about it.

I sent it off before I could stop to think any more about it.

I also have a feeling from things I’ve been writing this week, that I’m going to get back to writing some fantasy romances. Shhh!!!  Don’t say that too loudly. Yes, romances. I’m just not sure I have it in me. But, the writing may take me back to that play land once more.

As for Loki, I have about 7,000 more words that I want to write in the story. That’s just my guess at how long I’d like to make it. He always has other plans.

Onesong is making me want to beat my head against a wall. I keep trying to look at it, but I have so much to fill in and my list keeps growing. At least since I’ve been focused on that, I haven’t been killing off any more characters in my Sacred Knight series. I haven’t brought Aeribela back to life yet either. I did find a scene that I wanted to incorporate into the story, and to do that I really need Aeribela alive (unless I’ve already added the scene and just don’t remember it. Yeah, don’t ask me how many projects I have going right now and how I keep them all straight — my answer is “Don’t know.”).

As you can see, it’s been crazy busy. It needs to stay this way because I’m so far behind on my word count to my yearly goal that I’m just stupid enough to think that I can catch up if I focus and work really hard. Then I have a case of “Oh shiny” and move off to something else. Thanks for listening.

Until next week!

 


Progress – 05/08/17

May 8, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 6,958 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  1,450 words

Writing month to date total: 8,408 words

Writing year to date total: 112,562 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 5 hours on recording and editing  audio. I’m still planning on having The Doorway Prince out on Audible and other platforms in May. I really thought I was going to have it done this week, but I just couldn’t put in the time I wanted.

Week’s happenings:  First, I want to give a big Happy Birthday shout out. I won’t say who it is that is receiving it, but I know that the receipent will get it.

Well, Adrian’s hands are still healing from the bike accident over two weeks ago. He’s almost there. So I’m still walking Merlin in the mornings and evenings. That’s what’s really cut into my audio time, but in some ways, it’s kind of been fun doing that chore. I occassionally even run with Merlin for a block or two and that’s really been interesting. I think he’d be a good dog to jog with. He keeps me inspired and moving. And he loves it. Unlike bicycling ( which according to my app, I rode for 41.5 miles in April — holy cow!), I can’t keep up any distance with jogging. It’s hard on my knees, but I am up to about a two blocks, so I keep reminding myself of the Zig Ziglar method of running (a block and a mailbox) and that’s really what I’m doing.

I went and got my other son from college. I can’t believe it’s summertime already. I know it’ll fly by and I’ll be sending him back in no time at all.

Then, on Saturday, I had a show; it was the Jerome Music Boosters’ Spring Craft Fair. Just one day, but I did set up Friday night, so I only had to walk in on Saturday and start to share my enthusiasm for my stories with people. Then we packed up Saturday after the show. I was tired and went to bed early that night.

For the writing, I’ve been focusing on a story called Mystery of the Stardust Monk and the next novella in The Loki Adventures. I feel like I’m two-thirds of the way done with Mystery and about a third of the way done with Loki.

In other news, I’ve tenatively scheduled Prince of the Ruined Land to be published on June 13th. This is not set in stone yet — I’m waiting to hear back on what I sent out before moving forward on it any more than to close my eyes and point at the calendar for a date.

Well, time to carry on now. See you next week!


Progress – 05/01/17

May 1, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 9,518 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  806 words

Writing month to date total: 27,065 words for all of April

Writing year to date total: 104,154 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. I’m still planning on having The Doorway Prince out on Audible and other platforms in May.

Week’s happenings:  I have been taking care of my son still after his bike accident last week. I think I’ll have another week of cleaning and bandaging his hands every night. We’re still picking out gravel. Bikers — always ride with gloves! I’ve also gotten in at least half and hour of walking every day in taking the dog out for morning and evening walks, so that’s been good. I’m the only person who is still bundled up though. Until the wind stops, I won’t find any warmth in the days. I don’t care if it’s almost 60 degrees out now. It still feels like 40 to me. Thank goodness for my “no hat hair cowl” from Stacy, which I’ve been wearing to keep the wind out of my ears. It’s black with flashy gold trim around the face, so I feel pretty when I wear it too (added bonus – grin).

Writing-wise, I had my best week of writing so far this year at 10,324 total words for the week. I finished drafting the manuscript for the second origin story in the Ninjas series titled Space Ninjas Aren’t Real. It ended up being way more serious of a story than I thought it would be. I’d hoped it would be humorous and more along the lines of The Loki Adventures, but nope, it had other plans. I still see an edge of humor in it, so there is hope that by the time I bring the character to the real ninja story, she’ll be my funny one. We shall see. These characters have minds of their own.

So, if you’re curious about how all these things I’ve added up work out considering that you’ve been seeing a word count here but for a long time I hadn’t actually been finishing things, here’s how it goes:

During the end of March and in April, I created:

2 stories under 10,000 words

1 story over 10,000 words

2 novels (1 currenly 89,000 words long and the other at 85,000)

So that’s approximately 204,000 words that have come together in the last month. That’s really not to shabby.

I currently have one story that is coming up on 10,000 words, plus I have a good start on the 5th book in the Sacred Knight series, and I am over 3,000 words into the next Loki story. I don’t expect that May will see quite the same number of completions as I saw in April. I really think it was strange timing that it all worked out that way, but I do want to illustrate that if you keep working at something, eventually you will see results.

Also this week, I redid the cover for By the Numbers. And I prepared the cover for Prince of the Ruined Land (Sacred Knight #4). You can see them here.

I listed By the Numbers online, so it is now available for purchase. Yeah, getting the story ready for publications was certainly now how I imagined spending my Friday afternoon, but it’s what I got done. I now have copies of The Doorway Prince and History of a Dead Man. I’ve ordered copies of By the Numbers which I hope to have by this weekend when I do a show, but we’ll see. I’m not counting my chickens there. I got the first set of books mentioned super fast. I doubt I can be that lucky again. But it would be cool.

The show? For the sake of time, here’s a link with all the details. 

I mentioned that I was working on the new Loki story, right? Well, he’s babbling in my ear now, so I better go and get to work on him. Ever since I told him that he was next in the funnel and actively got back to work on the document, he’s been charging ahead as normal. I fully expect that I’ll be up until 3:30 a.m. again. See you all later after I’ve gotten some sleep!


Progress – 04/03/17

April 3, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 7,338 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  743 words

Writing month to date total: 30,444 words for March, 1,240 so far for April

Writing year to date total: 78,329 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent nearly 7 hours on recording and editing  audio.

Week’s happenings: As March rounded out, I really wanted to pass the 30,000 word mark for the month. I have been writing some blog posts for betterwriterblog.net, but since I don’t count blog posts until I’ve actually put them up (because I have a habit of writing blogs but letting them sit on my computer rather than putting them out there), I knew that I had unofficially hit the target. Of course, me being the overachiever I am, I wanted to actually get there. I thought about getting the posts up just so I could count the words in them. I didn’t — see, they are still sitting on my computer, taking up space, so how can I count that? So, I had been falling just short of 30,000 words by about 800 words or so. I was so tired on the 31st that I decided I should just go to be. Well, thanks to some people down the street wanting to set off fireworks for some unknown and illogical reason, I was awoken at 11:00 that night after a couple hours of sleep. Needless to say, I was awake. While the jerks down the street were probably falling blissfully asleep, I was staring at the ceiling. I finally decided it was stupid to be angry and so I grabbed my laptop and started writing. I made the word count you see above. So while I’m not happy about missing sleep and my poor Merlin being upset and scared the rest of the night, I am glad that I managed the word count.

I didn’t get any real painting or drawing done, but this week I did actually draw in my sketchbook. That feels good. I’ve been wanting to paint, but I just haven’t been able to get there. I can’t wait until summer — I always seem to paint more in the summer.

The Doorway Prince is coming along in audio format. I’ve recorded more than half of it and edited most of that. It shouldn’t be long now before I can do my final listen through.

The 4th book in the Sacred Knight series is also nearing completion of my read-through. I have added more scenes and straightened some things out. I’m very close to being able to pass it off to my first reader. Then I just have to worry about a cover. Maybe that means I’ll finally get some painting done.

This week I’ll be starting to post Ninjas: By the Numbers here on my blog. It’s a side story of The Doorway Prince. I’ve done the edits for that. I also finished the corrections for History of a Dead Man, though I still need to post them online. Hopefully I can get them uploaded in the next day or two.

At one point this week, I was writing Onesong and Sacred Knight book 4 at the same time — that was interesting. I actually had parallel scenes in both, so I figured that I could write Rivic’s scene while I worked on making Martias a Necroatheling. What a great time!

The story that I was working on and mentioned in last week’s progress report, the one that I wrote over 7,000 words in three days, I “finished” it. I still need to go back and fill in some transition areas since I wrote the scenes quickly as they came to me and then dropped them in where I thought they best fit. Then I started on a prequel story to that. This is another Moonhunter story. Yes, I do seem to be writing his timeline. But the narrator of this story is kind of delightful — it surprised me. I had been wondering at the odd narrative voice in the story until I realized what was happening. I love it when I’m surprised. I have no clue where this story is going other than it will fit into my Moonhunter series (since he’s a main character) and will tie in with my Ninja series. Yes, that’s Ninjas, like my By the Numbers story (which is an origin story for one of the characters in the Ninja series — there will be 5 of them when I’m done). Yes, everything I write ends up tying together somehow. Except for The Last Ant, which at the moment is a true stand-alone, but I hesitate to write anything else about because I’m sure it will tie in somehow if I were to keep going on it.

I did also continue working on the next Loki adventure. I’m also getting that story in flashes, so I’m writing them down as the pieces come and will figure out how to puzzle them all together later.

In case you’re wondering, I currently have 14 projects that I’m keep a word count on, with 5-6 of them being active in my head each week. I really need to get some of them done. I’d like to shorten that list, but I know others will just take its place. When I did a count last year, I something around 25 projects that I had in the hopper, and that was before I even conceived Fractured Echo, The Last Ant, The Doorway Prince, and By the Numbers, along with everything else that has come to me over the winter. From that original list, I only manage to cross off For More Mischief, Call Loki. I figure if I added up my list now, I’d be closer to around 35-40 projects. For this reason, I must keep writing.

See you again on Wednesday. Don’t forget to be back here for the start of Ninjas: By the Numbers.


Progress – 03/20/17

March 20, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 2,352 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  297 words

Writing month to date total: 13,986 words

Writing year to date total: 60,631 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent nearly 9 hours on recording and editing  audio.

Week’s happenings: The Last Ant finally published to audiobook outlets. It sounds better than Fractured Echo, but I’m still unsettled about how it changes once it goes through the final processing. Maybe it’s just me. Anyway, I’ve spent a significant amount of time working on The Doorway Prince and getting the audio ready for it. I’m only about halfway through recording it, and a quarter of the way through editing it. Considering how much time it use to take me to edit audio, I am definitely finding Adobe Audition as a huge time saver. Considering the difference in the audio quality of Fractured Echo to The Last Ant, I’m happy that I made the switch too. Let me just say that it seems pretty cool to be able to say that I’m an audiobook narrator now too. It feels “more official.” (grin) I am really looking forward to this summer when I can kick out The Three Books and 1-800-Mischief as audiobooks too. Chances are, though, I’m going to have to re-record them. I don’t know. I still need to go back and listen tot he audio files I have and see how they sound.

Yeah, so I’ve been really kicking it on the audio side as you can tell. Writing, not so much. I’ve been trying to get to doing the edits on a few stories but that hasn’t happened. I’ve been reading the fourth book in the Sacred Knight series. But I just haven’t been in the mood to write. I tell myself that’s a falsehood — that I should just start writing, but every time I open a document, I just sit there and stare at it. It’s easier to go work on other things that really need maintenance, like my website or posting blogs. In the back of my mind, I hear Loki rattling his cage. He wants out. He’s been quiet for a couple months, let me work on other projects. Such is his routine. I start hearing him in my mind, feeling the serpent essence crawling around through me and in my life, and I know he is about to strike. Maybe I am resting before the storm. I’d really like it if he’d let me finish the fourth Sacred Knight. It now feels like a race to the finish line and we shall have to see who wins.(Probably Loki!)  I feel him tempting me back to the file that I started for the next novella. Just open it, read through it, that’s all I have to do. I don’t have to work on it now, just get it back in my mind. But I know what happens if I crack that door! Chaos ensues. I’ll be back to writing at 3:30 in the morning because I can’t stop. Right now, I don’t have time or energy for that. Yes, now I can feel it: Steigan struggling against the chains that Loki has him in. Can you hear the clink as Steigan rushes forward and the chains tighten with a heavy clank? Loki steps closer, the tempting smile, the chill reaching me without a touch. I feel his shadow cross over me. He comes and I am helpless to resist.

DRAMA QUEEN!

I saw a tagline on a writer’s website last week that read something to the effect of “I will lie to you and you will like it.” Yes, my little sidetrip above may have seemed like a bit of storytelling drama, but that is exactly what it feels like to have characters vying for attention. And I enjoy being able to entertain their struggles in my head. I don’t have a schedule or a timeline or even a deadline. I just write what suits me. And, if I don’t write for a week, I know that I will be pounding away hard at the keyboard some other time. It’s a cycle. I trust the process.

In other news, my son came home from college for spring break late last week, so that might be the other reason I didn’t get any words done since he’s been back. I’d rather be spending my time with him. Still, he knows that writing is important to me and would allow me the time if I needed it. Again, the mood just isn’t there, so I’m happy to give the time to him. He did give me time to record; “I’ll be in my room, making no noise, and pretending I don’t exist,” was his quote. Thanks, Harry Potter! The point is that I could have found time to write if I’d wanted it.

I hope you all have enjoyed Part 1 of The Doorway Prince on my blog. Part 2 will be posted this week, so be sure to finish up Part 1 before it goes away. Next week, the third and final part will be posted. Then we’ll get started on By the Numbers, the story of one of the side characters from The Doorway Prince. I certainly hope that if you enjoy my writing, you share it with friends you feel might like it too. A writer’s work is only completed when someone reads it.

 

 

 


For More Mischief, Call Loki

November 30, 2016

For More Mischief covern 72dpi

For More Mischief, Call Loki is now available in print – click here for a physical book. Find any electronic version you want here by clicking here (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc.).

Or get an autographed copy for you or one of your loved ones for Christmas by going to my Zibbet store.

Speaking of my Zibbet store, I want to thank you for being one of my blog readers, so I made a special discount code for you. Now through December 10th, you can get 10% off on your purchase there by using the coupon code 2016SALE. Yes, this includes 10% off For More Mischief, Call Loki, which also has free shipping. What a deal! You better get your copy now.