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.

 


Progress – 05/15/17

May 15, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 5,645 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  981 words

Writing month to date total: 15,034 words

Writing year to date total: 119,188 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted. I did sketch (doodle actually) in my sketchbook this week.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 9 hours on recording and editing  audio. I have finished all the tracks for The Doorway Prince. I just need to transfer the files to my iphone so I can do a final listen though and make sure I haven’t missed any areas where the sound is bad. However, my iphone and my itunes account are not playing well together. Apple needs to go back to the drawing table with itunes. It use to be so easy to use. The last few versions have been garbage! Now, I get an error with my phone all updated and a new install of itunes. So, an error with fully updated stuff = Steve Jobs rolling over in his grave. There has got to be a better way!!!! Apple, are you listening? There has got to be a better way! Itunes needs fixed from the ground up. There has got to be a better way.

Week’s happenings:  Okay, sorry for my frustration there. I’ve spent 12 hours now trying to get my phone updated, itunes downloaded to my other computer, and no matter what I do (or my children — isn’t that supposed to make it work? If you can’t get something to work, just hand it over to your children? Yeah, that’s not working either) it will not sync. So, needless to say, my Sunday went out the window with me fighting with computer problems. My other computer spent all day trying to upload my audio files that I’d spent Sunday morning creating to the cloud. Two computers down in one day equals me not getting any work done. I am so frustrated that I’m about to burn them onto a CD – yikes!

I did, however, get my newsletter out to subscribers earlier this week. I also got The Three Books all reformatted and the new cover completed for the print version. It should be coming up on Amazon soon. I am running an experiment to see how this all is going to work, so I’m interested to see what the results will be. Curious, I am. (When I’m not being frustrated that is.)

Loki is coming along well. I figure I’m nearing the halfway point for completing the novella. I thought I was coming up on the ending of Mystery of the Stardust Monk, but then I got surprised along with my characters. That’s the best thing about writing in the dark; I have no clue what’s going to happen. And see, with Loki, I couldn’t have planned what happened there, even though Loki was sending me the vibes from the very beginning; he got to be amazed right along with me. (grin)

Along with those two stories, I started working on another idea which actually blossomed from two real tragedies I heard about in the week. While I have no desire to say more than that, let me just remind you to always tell you loved ones what they mean to you. You never know when you might never see them again, at least in this lifetime. I can tell that this is going to be a fun story though. I thought at first that it would be hard, considering the reality behind the idea, but when I started digging into it, I realized I was exactly the person to write this. I have no idea where it’s going — again, writing into the dark now that I have the initial inspiration. Where ever it goes, it will be a journey.

Onward. Wish me luck in getting my files onto my iphone before I have to burn a CD.


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 – 04/24/17

April 24, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 3,345 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  659 words

Writing month to date total: 16,741 words

Writing year to date total: 93,830 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent just under 8 hours on recording and editing  audio. I am close to having The Doorway Prince completed — it’s all recorded and I’m down to editing it with only a few tracks left. I hope to have it out on Audible and other platforms in May.

Week’s happenings:  I certainly didn’t get as many words written as I’d hoped I would. However, I got lots of other things done. I redid the covers for the first three books in the Sacred Knight series (again. Last week I showed off the redone cover for the first book, only to do it again during the week). Only the ebooks are done — I haven’t gotten to the print books yet, but I will. I caught up on my bookkeeping because I wanted to review my financial statements when I had my quarterly goal meeting over the weekend. I finished the draft of Onesong (which I had originally started during November 2015 while participating in NaNoWriMo), as well as finished another short story. And, I also had my quarterly meeting as I said above.

If that weren’t enough, my oldest son, Adrian, who has recently taken up biking and loves to ride long distances decided to make a quick stop from 24 miles per hour to zero in a split second. This was his first bike wreck. His foot slipped off the pedal and went into the wheel. Thank goodness he didn’t have a car behind him. Unfortunately, he peeled up a hearty section of each palm, gave himself major road rash down one side of his body and pedal marks up the other leg, and went from needing a tune-up on his bike to needing a major overhaul. All I have to say is thank goodness I had 8 years of veterinary science in 4-H as a kid! I brought him home and got him all patched up. The repairs to the bike will come later after his hands heal, which will probably take longer than he wishes it would. Not something either one of us had planned and certainly broke the stream in the writing I was doing. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt more seriously because it could have been so much worse. Fortunately, he’s already talking about his next bike rides, so I’m glad to see he wants to continue. I’d hate for this to have scared him off. All a mother can do is hope that he doesn’t take any more tumbles like this. I’m sure he will though. Goodness knows I had my share of bike accidents (never at that speed though).

The day after that accident, we drove to Pocatello where we picked up my other son and we took a family trip to Idaho Falls to visit the museum where they are currently having an exhibit on Rome. I took lots of pictures and came out of there with a bunch of ideas. I will share some pictures on this site soon. We took a walk around the river loop (we had been planning on biking around that, but obviously that was no longer an option — next time!). We visited the library in Idaho Falls where they were having a book sale. Two very dangerous words. My boys told me to take all the time I wanted — they soon regretted that! I did walk out of there having spent less than $5 in books and a couple of them weren’t even for me, so I think I did well. We also spent an afternoon at the zoo. A lot of walking around in two days and my legs were sore before we started. We had a great hotel room — it had a kitchenette with dishes and a dishwasher. I felt so spoiled, but the clerk gave us a complimentary upgrade on the room so we could have a roll away bed — two queen beds were perfect when my boys were little but just don’t work now that my boys are now both over 6 feet tall. It was great to have the extra room. It allowed me to spread out my notes for my meeting while my boys played their board and card games — video games weren’t an option considering the condition of Adrian’s hands. We sat around and watched an episode of Doctor Who, which we haven’t been watching in a while, and old, original episodes of Star Trek. Yeah, it was a good weekend.

Overall, last week was a very productive week. I have a lot of things I’d like to do in the next quarter. Certainly more stories to write. Even more to be sharing with the world.


Progress – 04/17/17

April 17, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 6,362 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  572 words

Writing month to date total: 12,737 words

Writing year to date total: 89,826 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.

Week’s happenings:  I got the 4th book in the Sacred Knight series finished! Prince of the Ruined Land is off to a first reader. I finished drafting (I think — it’s a strange story) a story about a crazy novihomidrak. That makes two characters that haven’t gone through a dragon birthing very well. I sense a theme. I did also finish drafting another story about a new kind of dragon and I’m halfway through another story that is a companion story to that one. It felt like this was a week of finishing things up.  I also keep having this idea to rebrand the Sacred Knight series. I was trying to work on cover ideas for Prince of the Ruined Land and then I had a fight with myself (thank you to my children for listening once again while I ranted to them just so I could have a sounding board) about whether to go with photos and rebrand or if I should just paint the covers as I have been. I finally decided I would attempt a rebrand with the ebooks. I’ve already posted the cover to Amazon, so we’ll see what happens. I’ll fix the other distributors later, but I wanted to see if it would have any impact on Amazon now.

Here’s a look at the cover:

The Three Books cover new 041617 72 dpi

I’d love to know what you think about the new cover. If you want to see what the previous cover looked like, you can see it here. I’m not sure this is a final, but I thought it might be a starting place. It’s the cover for To Birth a Destiny which I’m very excited about. That’s the one that made me decide to try a rebrand. In the meanwhile, I’m learning I can do a lot of things with Photoshop. On the other hand, it doesn’t drive me to improve my traditional art skills any. What a conundrum. But, we shall see what happens and maybe I’ll have my answer.

Until next week!

 


Progress – 04/10/17

April 10, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 3,586 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  977 words

Writing month to date total: 5,803 words

Writing year to date total: 82,892 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 8.5 hours on recording and editing  audio.

Week’s happenings:  I’m off my rhythm. It feels like nothing has gone quite right this last week. Nothing major, but just enough to make me feel off. Just weird. I sketched in my sketchbook last week. Nothing amazing. Stupid stuff actually. I felt depressed for a couple of days. My weekly routine is off. Yeah, it’s just been unusual.

To top it all off, I’ve been trying to work on clean-up edits for Fractured Echo, History of a Dead Man, The Doorway Prince, and By the Numbers. Somewhere in all that I thought I needed to do edits for The Last Ant, but I seem to have gotten that done at some point. My head is just spinning with trying to keep track of where I’m at. Remember I did mention I have several projects going last week; well, that hadn’t included these titles where I was trying to get rid of little errors and such. I had to start a spreadsheet to keep track of myself. There are just too many titles where I think I’m done but then I find an issue that needs fixed so I have to fix it, recreate all the PDF, epub, mobi, etc. files that need done, then get them uploaded across all the sites where I have accounts. There are so many steps now that it’s no wonder I get a little confused.

If you haven’t taken a moment to read the first part of Ninjas: By the Numbers, I suggest you do so before Wednesday when it goes away.

I had a big realization that just because I know the reasons and the appropriate types of people behind some of the scenes in the 4th Sacred Knight book, that doesn’t mean my characters would know. Especially since that knowledge has been kept from the people for so long. Yeah, that meant I had to delete scenes and rewrite to fill in gaps. I feel more  scenes to come. I’m still aiming for 90,000 words on the manuscript.

I also thought this week about rebranding the covers of the Sacred Knight series. I like the fonts, but I wonder if they wouldn’t sell better if I used photographs instead of art. I’m thinking of mocking up some covers to try. Time, where are you!

My oldest son also took me to Boise this weekend to see Your Name. It’s a very good movie. I didn’t see the major twist coming. As a storyteller, I can usually see what’s going to happen before everyone else. Yes, some of it I did see. The movie had a lot of foreshadowing. But it still got me! I love it when a story surprises me. If you aren’t use to watching anime, don’t be fooled that it’s “just a cartoon.” It’s not. The coloring of this movie is amazing. Yeah, I’d put it on my “watch again” list.

I sense that the next two weeks are going to be amuck too. If I can get figure out these edits and where I’m at with all of them without messing the whole thing up, then maybe I can progress forward and feel like I’m getting somewhere.