Necia Phoenix

SF & Fantasy Writer

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Am in the middle of prepping a writer hidy hole in the basement downstairs and catching up on laundry. :P  I have been puttering away at ‘outlines’ for the Elemental Wars stories and have completed E2 & E3 and am *thinking* about E4. E4 is tough because of all the characters in this story I know Maen ad Vera the least. So right now I am trying to figure them out. There are things I know about them, but I don’t ‘know’ them. So the outlining has slowed while I figure out THEM.

I got a couple books from the Library. Rae Carson‘s Girl of Fire and Thorns and Crown of Embers. I’m really looking forward to reading them even if they ARE YA. I also got an old favorite David Eddings The Belgariad. I think I might take a break from the outline to get some reading in.

 

Anyways, I was supposed to post this…uhhh…. YESTERDAY and I forgot. Oops. Have a great day people!

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some things

First of all, this dude wins. Just…he wins.

Slave Leo

 

Read it look at the pictures, He’s not bad looking at all. Go him. And the worksmanship is just awesome.

 

Writing;

Disclaimer: I am still on vacation. **nods** Really, I am.

I was part of a conversation between two friends of mine about goals and characters. The one has been struggling with character issues for a story for a while. The other has ten or eleven books written/pubbed traditionally and has won awards and stuff. I will have to ask her permission before I drop names. but suffice to say she has a LOT of experience, and is someone I HIGHLY respect. Her books are fun too.

She talked about problems with some of her stories and one in particular that had a goal that wasn’t strong enough to carry the whole book. She talked about her methods of finding a better goal and in the process the mc focal point of the story changed. It’s fascinating, and very educational. I was listening, munching on popcorn and thinking about my own books, My own stories and the struggles that I have had with them. And taking notes, checking goals.

We’ll get back to that in a moment, because the night before I was chatting with some of my OTHER pals and we were discussing release dates, serials and stuff like that. And we talked about trilogies.

There is a line of thought, that I encountered years ago, that trilogies are cliche. That they are outdated. No one likes them yadda yadda yadda. At some point a long time ago I got it into my head that writing a trilogy is BAD. I decided I would never write a trilogy.

So we were discussing reader habits. and trilogies. and a little whisper in my head reminded me that years ago, BP and Crossroads was supposed to be a trilogy. I shoved the idea down. No. Not gonna go that route.

Woken up, though, the thought, the urge to make it a trilogy just wouldn’t go away.

Then I sat in on that other conversation. And it hit me. The goal thing. Bastard Prince  covers about 17 years. The goal is hard to define. But if I break it up… I can see two very distinctive goals, possibly three, which would hold their own in their own novels, but smooshed in that time frame, they get lost. Bastard Prince can become a trilogy.

Let me say it again (It’s making the lazy inner writer scream in horror)

Bastard Prince can become a trilogy.

And the mind opens up. Scenes that were blank are filling in in my head because I am giving myself the permission to go more into depth on Zander’s years in the Northern Empire. Because those scenes were just the tip of the iceberg  The conspiracies, the interactions with people. The culture which captured my imagination…

It feels right.

It means a lot more work. BP is roughly finished and I’ll just keep writing on it in one chunk.

So where does this leave my other projects? 

Well that’s a good question there. I have a lot and sometimes it really gets overwhelming trying to pinpoint which one I need to work on next. And there’s the whole vacation thing.

I’m supposed to be backing away, taking a break. Taking a breather. So I am just going to get the Angel thing ready for a late May release. Other work will be decided on after that.

Health

Tony Horton, fitness trainer and creator of the P90X workout system, has a saying ‘Do your best, forget the rest.’

It’s become my mantra in many areas of my life lately. Working out is challenging, especially with toddlers underfoot. Sometimes I mess up, sometimes I have to stop and chase kids. That’s ok. I am working on doing my best. Working out with intensity. Nothing matters. I’m doing my best. It is very liberating.

I feel much better without stressing or feeling guilty for making mistakes.

That said, turbofire beckons and so does the kitchen.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

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The powerful resource of social media

A few years ago I started reading a blog/serial by  M.C.A Hogarth (I knew of her first via  livejournal) though I’ve been pretty sporadic on LJ lately, I liked seeing her progress with her projects.

So in December when she announced that Amazon had yanked Spots the Space Marine because of a supposed trademark issue I was a bit concerned. IF it could happen to her, it could happen to others. And dear gods don’t get me started on the claim that Space Marine ‘belonged’ to Game Workshop. There are others who were far more verbal about it, and more knowledgeable about the situation. I had never heard of Game Workshop before this started.

M.C.A. Hogarth protested it, after all, the term Space Marine is a common one in the Science Fiction genre (dare I whisper the word ‘cliche’ even?) and the term first came into being in the 30s/40s. Hells bells the stupid that Game Workshop displayed with this, and the bullying they pulled made me see red. (that was the day the website was offline, in retrospect I think that was a good thing. I can be very incoherent when furious.)

So when a friend shared this, announcing that Game Workshop backed down after a slew of people getting on twitter, facebook, reditt, and other venues posting about it  and M.C.A. Hogarth contacted the EFF, I bounced, cheered and startled my kids by my hooting.

Yes I just went and bought a copy of Spots the Space Marine

Just because M.C.A. Hogarth is a self pubbed author doesn’t give anyone the right to tromple over her books. This issue is sure to come up again. We need stay vigilant and get mad and do what we can to help fellow authors/artists stand against bullying of this nature.

Congrats M.C.A. Hogarth! Thank you everyone who got mad and spread the news.

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To do lists

So, I am taking the 30 Push challenge put out by Chalene Johnson http://www.30daypush.com*, (she’s the gal who does Turbofire, Turbo jam and a whole slew of others) which is a 30 day organize and achieve your goals program. This woman is crazy busy and crazy organized. She teaches a little bit day by day how to create and maintain a to do list.

The reason I bring this up is because far too often I find myself running in circles trying to figure out what the heck I am supposed to be doing next. Sometimes I remember, more often I forget and that’s how I burn food, lose glasses of milk, misplace important papers, forget about laundry loads in the washer and so on.

And I know I am not the only one.

Sometimes my writing is inhibited by the nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something. That there’s something I HAVE to do, but I just can’t remember what it was.

By keeping a to-do list, on my smartphone no less, I am finding I am getting things done and when I think of something I need to do I take a moment, put it on the list in the right catagory (today, this week or SOOOOOON) and things are getting done! If I feel like I’m forgetting something, I check my phone (I have a widget on the home screen that lists off tasks that haven’t been done) and can get reminded…oh yeah, I need to switch out laundry and get another load in. Oh yeah I need to get dinner on, oh yeah I need to call the dr office about X’s appoint and so on.

We actually remembered an appointment today that I would have totally missed if I hadn’t entered it into my phone.

Starting tomorrow I’m going to add a daily wordcount to the list. Next week, editing. Part of being a writer, part of being a writer in the business of writing and selling his/her own books, is being able to keep track of your business. Which means getting a grasp on organizational skills.

There are many methods out there, some focus on housecleaning, such as Flylady or  Unfuck Your Habitat, and I do believe there are a couple others who focus more on other organizing time but I can’t remember what those are. If you know of one, please list it in the comments. These are ways that have worked for many people in getting their lives, all areas of their lives, in order, so they can keep from wasting time and running in circles and do things they want to do, like hobbies, spending time with important people/pets that share our lives & so on.

Often times we are so caught up in trying to get shit done, that we forget to take a moment to sit back, breathe, think through, and then write out what we need to do. Whether it’s writing or any other aspect of our lives. I firmly believe that sitting down for about 15 min every day and figuring out what needs to get done, how important those tasks are to the overall goals and priorities I have, how soon those things need to get done, will go a long way in moving my life more in the direction I want to go. I also believe that this sort of thing can help other people in achieving their goals and be more productive in their lives.

I have a long way to go, I’ve got areas of things that I’ve neglected/forgotten about that I absolutely MUST get under control and soon. But I’ve got this to-do list, it’s on my phone which I’m constantly checking anyways… and I’m starting to get a handle on those things.

What methods help YOU keep yourself on track? Or are you one of those awesome folks who manage to just do it naturally?

*you can still sign up, and do it. It’s free and is, for me, a great set of skills.
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Urban Fantasy Rants

Not mine, I honestly don’t read much UF. I find it far too predictable which has made it boring to me. A friend from livejournal land is doing a series on what she finds lacking with many urban fantasies out there and frankly I agree. Her points are exactly why I don’t read UF.

Fantasy critiques: Lack of good relationships
Urban Fantasy Rant 2:Not even friendship?
Urban Fantasy Rant 3:The Invisible Woman

She’s doing another one tomorrow which I will link to. I highly recommend reading these posts and then read the comments. Lots of food for thought, especially if you are an Urban Fantasy writer.

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