Progress – 05/22/17

May 22, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 743 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  1,659 words

Writing month to date total: 17,436 words

Writing year to date total: 121,590 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 6+ hours on recording and editing  audio.

Week’s happenings:  After fighting last weekend to get my MP3’s on my phone via iTunes, I finally got it synced. Then I ended up spending all the normal time I’d spend on writing listening to the audio. That’s why my word count is very low. When I did write, it wasn’t very productive. I do still have some audio for a story that demanded that I get it started rather than listening to The Doorway Prince, but I haven’t taken a moment to transcribe it. So, I do have a few extra words there — not that it’s going to make up for anything. I also did work on the 5th Sacred Knight book, but I didn’t count the words for it. I killed Aeribela off (again) in the most gruesome way. It just kind of happened. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. I kind of feel like the Prince of Persia game where when the character dies, he says, “Wait, that didn’t happen.” Don’t worry. I don’t think Aeribela’s really dead. As I recall, I was setting her up for an important scene; I just don’t remember what that was. I’m sure than when I go back to re-read I’ll remember what it was and start again. Besides, I’ve killed Martias off at least three times and we see how well that’s worked out for me. I’ve killed Keteria off a couple of times — again, not any death that has been permanent for long. I’ve even killed Sim and Lucinia off in one draft of what is now the 5th book. Oh, Arlyn too. Don’t get me wrong — there is a character that dies in Prince of the Ruined Land and he is dead-dead. By the same token, I won’t go all George R.R. Martin all over my characters. But some characters will have to die. And, what I do find scary about Aeribela’s death scene which I wrote last week, it’s all perfectly plausible and set up earlier. My timing might just be off. Anyway, I didn’t count the words because at this point I don’t think they are staying.

I did also get the print version of The Three Books all revised and settled. It is out with the newly updated cover.

Even though I spend so much time listening to the audio for The Doorway Prince (which is not included in the 6 hours I have listed above), I don’t know if it will be completed in May. I’ve got a lot of small issues to work out. There is a part of me that wants to re-record the whole thing. I’m refusing to do that. I’ve already spent so much time editing. But, I do have several things to correct. The Drifter’s voice was a work in progress thoughout. I did have to re-record his lines for two tracks in the book because of the difference. I also went back and re-recorded Eclipse’s voice for the first few tracks because I dropped it severally later on without realizing I’d done that. Yeah, I’m definiately learning how to be a good narrator. I admit that I didn’t put too much effort into differentiating the voices in either Fractured Echo or The Last Ant, I had worked on it quite a bit in trying to record 1-800-Mischief and The Three Books. I can pretty much do all the voices for The Three Books without much thought because I’ve done them so many times that it’s becoming natural. But with The Doorway Prince, I started off not intending to do too much vocal work for the characters, but then I got into it and started developing the characters out to how I heard them in my head. Thus, now I’m having to go back and fix. And that’s why there’s a part of me that wants to say, “One more time, eh!”

Then, on Saturday I did a show in Burley, Idaho. I tried to write at the show, but I just couldn’t get into it. I probably should have taken my paints. That might have worked out better.

Sunday I thought I’d get caught up and get a bunch of writing done. I was just too tired to work, so I didn’t. I kept telling myself I really needed to focus and get something done, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t even have the energy to let myself get distracted. I just sat there. I finally went off to get some reading done. When my energy is that low, I’m better off not forcing it. I tell myself it’s okay because I’ve already written over 120,000 words this year — most people who want to call themselves writers can’t manage that and I’m certain that I didn’t manage that many most years. Speaking of which, I did also spend some time refocusing on what I want to accomplish. I have my goals set out for this year, but what would I like to see happen in 5 or 10 years? Still working on that. At least I’m getting started thinking forward.

Hopefully, I’ll be re-energized this week.

 


ACEO of the Week – 05/20/17

May 20, 2017
Landscape #11

Landscape #11
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

 

Often, I’m very glad when I see ACEO’s go off to someone’s home. It cleans out my space and gives me the urge to paint new ones. This is one I wish I had kept. I still kick myself for not keeping this one. Maybe that means I’ll get inspired to paint a larger piece. We shall see, won’t we?

Trust me on this: if you ever see a piece of art you want, buy it before someone else does. You might regret not having that piece later. There are a couple works by other artists I wish I had. One piece I’m thinking of now was a beautiful gesha painting. The artist, a girl much younger than me, passed away suddenly a couple weeks ago. Very sad. I think about all the art she had within her that is now lost to the world. And, I’m certain the gesha painting is far beyond my grasp now as I’m sure that if she still had it at the time of her death, there is no way that her family is parting with it now. Understandably.

And, if you have art (whatever that is: painting, writing, poetry, cooking, sewing, creating a loving home, taking care of your family, whatever – everyone has something that is an “art” for them) in you, don’t let it remain there. Get it out.

If you don’t think you can, check out last week’s blog for a reminder. Time is the commodity you are given in your life, but you have no idea how much has been doled out to you. Use it wisely. Imagine the possibilities. Then act. How you spend your time and what you give back to those around you is your rent for living. Make sure you give value for having lived.


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!


ACEO of the Week – 05/06/17

May 6, 2017
Evening Tree #9

Evening Tree #9
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Looking up and dreaming about everything that’s out there among the stars.

I’d really hate for this to be the only planet with life on it in our whole universe.

Is it any wonder that I write about other worlds?


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!


ACEO of the Week – 04/29/17

April 29, 2017
Doorway 2014-43

Doorway 2014-43
2.5″ x 3.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2014 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Whatever you do in life, spread hope. You might just be the candle that lights the way for someone.


ACEO of the Week – 04/22/17

April 22, 2017
AbstractTree #4

Abstract Tree #4
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on Bristol Board
©2011 Dawn Blair
SOLD

Sometimes things get a little confusing in life and we might need to take an abstract view to see the bigger picture. Just like the branches of a tree can obscure the sight of the sky if you are standing beneath a tree. Maybe I’m feeling a little melancholy right now. I sometimes just wish people would stop to remember that we all have to live on one tiny bubble in a much larger and very dangerous universe. We’re all we have of each other.