NaNo-ish thingy

As posted on my tumblr;

I am suckin hard at NaNo this year, but that’s okay, I’m being a rebel anyways. ūüėõ I found a picture which, I don’t know who the models are, I have no info whatsoever on where this pic came from, but it just SCREAMS my two fav characters from my nano projects; Zander and Talia….

I’m hoping to catch up over the weekend. When I am focused I can really crank out the words.

 

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Not quite a nano post

I am still behind on my nano count, on the flip side, Bastard Prince hit 90,000 words and I’m still writing on it.

I think that, no mater what the final word count ends up as, is worth it.

And I forgot to post this (about 4 hours ago) opps!

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NaNo

I am behind on my words, life has a way of sneaking up behind you and smacking you with a cast iron skillet in the back of the head. Now that those issues have been (mostly) handled, I think. There is no Flash Fiction Friday today, mostly cause I had errands, sick kids, and backed up housework to handle. I am about to get back to the nano thingy, am doing a read through to see what I need to do.

How are you guys doing?

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Snippery

From the nano. Enjoy

Talia tucked her supplies into a small bag and set it on the table beneath the window. She took a scan around the room and froze, heart pounding loudly in her ears. The door was barred, she could see the chain still across it. Nothing could have entered the room. Not without her hearing. Yet standing just inside the door, in a crisp white nightgown, long black hair over her shoulders, was a child, looking down. Double tipped ears peeked from her hair. Her skin was so pale, and when she looked up, Talia swallowed. Blue eyes, deeper blue than any other she’d seen, except‚Ķ she shook her head. She was going crazy.

“Are you lost?” Talia whispered. The child tipped her head to one side, not moving. Not blinking. “I’m sorry, but what is it you need?”

“You have to find him.” A child’s voice, but soft as the wind.

“Find who?”

The child frowned, stepping closer. “You can do it to, his trick. You have to. If you don’t, they’ll all die!” She was clutching her hands together.

“Who will die?” Talia knelt as the child neared her.

“Father will.”

Talia swallowed. Zander? She had to be dreaming. This was impossible. But, this child was half hume, and her eyes like the King’s, like Zander’s. Who else could she have possibly meant?

“If father dies, hope is lost. Don’t you see?” The child was eye to eye with her, those brilliant eyes shining from an inner light. Light. This was the new, Lady of the Light? Talia was certain of it.

“You’re the only one who can.”

“I don’t know how.” Talia murmured, but she did, somehow, she knew how to do it.

The child smiled, even as Talia realized she could see through her tiny form to the door behind her. “Yes. You do. Hurry, there’s not much time.”

Silence fell and Talia found herself staring at the door in the dimming evening light. She pushed herself to her feet, still staring at the doorway.

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having scheduling problems

the post supposed to post yesterday posted today. My OCD is having issues with this.

 

 

Bastard Prince
am down to the last little bit, wordcountwise, and I am certain it is going to shoot far beyond 90k

68298 / 90000
(75.89%)

soooooo close!!!!

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Halloween,

Or Samhain, is right around the corner. And I thought I’d remind people that I do have a Zombie story¬†Help Never Came, which is a post apocalyptic zombie tale. It’s one of my personal favorites to read, too. And also a ghosty story called Playing for the Dead, about a girl who has to play a magic harp to soothe the distressed souls of a nearby cemetary. Another story I enjoyed writing, and re-reading. And yes I do re-read my own work. Hey, I write what I love to read!

 

Life in the post-zombie-apocalypse is full of nasty surprises and many unsolved mysteries, such as old diaries and teddy bears. After saving some fellow survivors Chris and his team find themselves stuck on the wrong side of the river with surging hordes of Zombies moving faster than normal. Worse yet, home base isn’t answering their calls.

Available At

Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Xin Xii
Kobo

~*~

 A hundred years after a catastrophe changed the order of things, Lizbae is sent to take her turn to play a magic harp to soothe the restless souls of the departed. To protect her village, and stay alive, Lizbae must find the courage to face the night. 

Available at:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Xin Xii
Kobo 

If you’ve read them already, please leave a review.

Oh and I will mention here and now I have another zombie story in the works, a christmas Zombiething.

And Playing for the Dead is set in the same world as The Magic Maker and the Island Fluff stories (which are in edit/revision mode)

~*~

I am scrambling to finish¬†Bastard Prince¬†which is now sitting at just over 65k. My goal is 90k, but I suspect the story won’t be done under 100k. I need to finish it. It’s been in the works for way too long. Time to get it DONE!

Time to get to writing. Take care all. ūüôā

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Snippet Saturday

Have a snippet of an anthology story I am trying to finish. **flails**

~*~

Chandra turned, looking frantically for anything she could use as a weapon. She wasn’t going to let those things eat her dear companion! All she saw were pine cones. She grabbed a pine cone and chucked it at the creature. It fell pitifully short of its target. Everything went still, though Sir Morion was still barking and growling. The lizard creatures pointed towards her, their movements jerky. Chandra picked up another pine cone, aimed, and threw. It clattered against stones, nowhere near the lizard men. They made a sound, not clicking, not anything she’d ever heard before. They were laughing! At her! She scowled and straightened.

“You leave us alone! This is royal property. Begone!” She made a dismissing motion, similar to what Grandmother used when dealing with peasants. The creatures went quiet.

“You are out of your territory, hum-aun.” The tallest creature said, his voice grating on her ears. He pulled his sword, a craggy, crooked looking thing, nowhere near as fine as her Grandmother’s guards wore. She could see the nicks and dents. Chandra shuddered, stepping back as the thing leveled it at her. “You are fair game.”

“Oh blast.” Chandra whispered.

 

~*~

Have a happy Saturday!

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To Serial or not to Serial

I’ve been thinking about doing a serial. I’ve considered putting E1 up as a serial, say every Friday or Sat, one chapter at a time, to be put together as an e-book and POD when it is complete. ¬†I’m still researching the idea.

I’ve seen people run serials very successfully, from crowd funding to doing auctioning of stories. and was wondering what other people’s takes on the matter was.

Anyone? **peers around**

 

 

_________________________

The Shiny
A story from the idea’s point of view.

The idea was Shiny and New and ready to be written. Unfortunately, The Writer had other ideas…

Available at;
Smashwords | Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Kobo

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Edging towards the end of the year

I’ve bounced around on my projects since we moved, trying to get my head back in the right ‘space’. I’ve been slowly getting things settled. So I’m taking a look at the last half of the year. There are two big projects I want to finish (1st drafts),¬†Bastard Prince¬†and¬†Crown of Bones. ¬†I have three smaller (short story size) projects; the FMAnthology, The Christmas Zombie thing, and another ‘from the author’s POV story’ and I have 5 months…

Bastard Prince is sitting currently at 29k and I think 60k should wrap it up. I am going to be doing Aug Camp nano and I am fairly confident I can get that in Aug. Sept might be a rest up, do little projects, then (maybe) tackle¬†COB¬†again in oct/november. I wanted to have¬†COB¬† finished (rough draft at least) before oct, but I have to say I don’t think it will happen.

There is something I’ve been missing with¬†COB, and I haven’t had the time to sit down and just LOOK at it. Maybe I’ll do that in Oct. Well see.

I also need to do the next pass on E1, I’d like to have it pub ready before the end of this year.

so the line up is;

In Aug;

~ Bastard Prince I will finish this gods be damned story, dang it

In Sept

~ Shorter projects; 

  • FM-Anthology (submission¬†call is over here¬†for those interested)
  • Christmas Zombie-thing
  • Inside the Author’s mind story

In Oct

~ Final Edit round on Elemental Truth and possibly start formatting?

~ Do the cover for Bastard Prince , Crown of Bones, Christmas Zombie  and Elemental Flame

~ plotting/worldbuilding for Crown of bones.  I need to sit down and just work out what is bugging me about this project.

~Plotting on Elemental Flame (E2)

In November

~ Crown of Bones

~ If¬†COB doesn’t pan out I’ll work on E2

 

In December

~ Publish the christmas zombiething

~ publish E1(?)

~ Put together goals list for 2013 (dear dog did I just write that? o.O)

 

As usual, this list is subject to change (or be totally ignored) depending on how my RL goes.

There is a lot going on, on the internets, a lot that I have been thinking and mulling over. I just don’t have the words quite right in my head just yet.

Have a good day, folks. Happy Monday!

~*~

Bonus link;

Jay Lake posted at his blog a thing of dialog tags over here. Well worth reading.

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Digi art and other meanderings

I love digi art. I love playing with programs such as Poser and Daz3d. I love being able to¬†look at a piece of art I have made using those programs and “see” the characters I write about. So yesterday I kinda took a break and just *played* and came up with this:

Zander test render 2

I am quite proud of this picture. Despite the fact the clothes aren’t aligned right at the legs and arms and the hair is not exactly right… And I just noticed he doesn’t have eyebrows… **snerk** I find that funny

It is still very close to how I picture him, in his youth. Before shit hits the fan.mwahahaha **coughs**

#

We’ve been, in chat, having an ongoing discussion of traditional publishing verses self publishing. There is a lot of distrust between the two sides. Which makes me very sad. There is a lot we, as authors, should be able to do. Respecting others’ decisions on how they want to¬†distribute¬†and manage their writing career should be paramount. Luckily, for the most part, the folks I chat with have this respect, and are willing to accept other folks’ decisions… as long as they aren’t pressured to go the route they don’t feel¬†comfortable¬†with.

When I was working on the Zombie thing the other day, a friend advised me to find a publisher for it. And I realized, I’m having far too much fun to do that.

There is a lot of trad publishing hate out there. And it is not very surprising. They’ve been underpaying and mistreating their writers for years. (not getting on that soapbox) I have multiple reasons why I am just not comfortable with going the traditional route. So much is changing, so fast and the publishers, agents and writers are scrambling to figure out what next. I could list off things and reasons why I choose not to trad publish, but there are so many of those declarative posts out there that it feel like it is feeding a negative air that surrounds self pubbing. Honestly, when it all boils down to it, I’d rather list off reasons why I choose to self publish.

  • I love making covers. I am such a geek. I love fiddling with the digi art, I love putting together concepts, I love knowing that if I screw up on the cover it is MY fault not an underpaid and over worked artist who is given minimal information about book they are doing a cover for.
  • Time frame. Instead of wasting my time sitting on pins and needles waiting for a YAY or NAY from an editor/agent, as soon as my work is deemed publishable, it takes about a day or two to format and do the cover and then put it up. Months/years vs a day or three… Yeah
  • More freedom to write what I want. I am not locked into a genre, so if I want to explore doing sci-fi stories instead of fantasy or maybe a zombie thing or two… I CAN without needing to ask an agent or editor if I should or not. I have trouble with that idea.
  • If I need to handle real life I can give myself more time. (like the past three or four months) I don’t have to ask for patience from someone who has their bosses breathing down their neck because their author hasn’t delivered yet. That would make me feel real bad.
  • It is fun. Just, fun. I love the community, I love the people I have gotten to know. I love the options. I love seeing what I can do.
  • I love waking up to see sales. I won’t lie. That is one of the coolest things. I woke up the other day after having a series of minor disasters (flooded basement, leaky water heater, out furnace in 30 degree weather…) and saw sales. And I geeked, it made me smile big. Reviews would be nice but hey you can’t have everything can you? ūüėČ
  • Returns on sales. I get about 30% on every sale (for the .99 price range) from Amazon, I’d have to double check on the Smashwords sales. To my knowledge, based off of discussion with my friends who are trad pubbed, trad published authors get far lower percentage per sale than that. Which makes me very sad. You trad published writers work so hard for your publishers they should be paying you more per copy imo.
At this point in time I really don’t see myself¬†pursuing¬†a trad publisher or agent. I can do everything they can do for me, for the most part, and thats just fine and dandy with me.
Now that I’ve procrastinated enough ūüėõ I have a zombie thing to finish (and find a title for), Bastard Prince¬†to finish and Crossroads¬†and Crown of Bones¬†to outline all before the end of Jan.
Hope you all have a good Monday.
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NaNo day 21

Ok, spotty posting, sorry. Life just started itsholiday ramp up, joy of joys.

 

Anyways, nano is sitting at 33k and I am loving the way this story is falling together. Am busy with family stuff so here is a snip, and if I don’t get back to the blog before thursday;

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

NaNo Snip:  WARNING; THIS IS A BIT GROSS

 

“We’ll have to camp here,” Hayner said. “And go on after we rest. Sound good?”

Zander nodded, sinking down to the ground. He leaned back, tucked the light globe into his vest and closed his eyes.

“Zander wake up!” Hayner’s voice dragged at him, pulling him from the sleep that claimed him so easily.

He forced his eyes open, and sat up. In the edge of the light was movement.

“I’ve got this as bright as it will go. There’s something very large out there.” Hayner’s voice was very bland. He had drawn one of his swords and was crouched, just watching.

“What the hell is it?” Zander whispered. He scrambled to his feet, pulling his own blade.

“I don’t know.” Hayner “I haven’t…” his words faded as a very long sticklike something moved into the light, followed by another. Zander was reminded of a spider’s legs. He stepped back, barely breathing.

Into the light crept the large, bulbous body of something but it was the shape atop it that sent Zander to shaking.

“Holy fuck.” He whispered.

It looked like what might have been a man, might have been a rahaun. Flesh hung, dried and peeling from corded and dark looking muscle. Arms hung at either side, one hand which looked more skeletal than flesh, clutched a halberd. The face was more skull and peeling flesh. The nose long gone and most of the lower right jaw had no flesh whatsoever. The eyes were still there, gray, clouded and dead.

“Oh I am so going to kick Merdoc’s ass.” Hayner whispered.

As it moved closer, it’s spider like legs scraped and rustled against each other. Zander gritted his teeth, glancing back behind them. The tunnel loomed behind them.

“Should we make a break for it?”

Hayner shook his head, gritting his teeth. “We’re Bright Light. We can take it.”

“How?” Zander asked.

Hayner took a deep breath. “Take out the legs. Its…” he shook his head. “Just take out the legs and stay clear of the halberd.”

“In the dark?”

“It’s blind.” Hayner said.

“So are we.” Zander pointed out. Fear was fading fast. He darted forward, dodging one of the legs to slash at one of the shorter back ones. His sword crunched through it, the dead jaw opened and a long, low moan filled the air as it stumbled against the side of the ravine. It slashed blindly with the halberd, narrowly missing Zander. Hayner was darting in on it’s other side, his light flickering with each movement.

When all the legs were cut and lay twitching on the ground they stepped back. The body was covered in a thick shell up to where the corpse’s abdomen was attached. It flailed the halbred around making it difficult for them to get an easy blow. Zander blocked it and Hayner took the arm off. The arm, still clutching the Halbred twitched on the ground for a few heartbeats, dark liquid oozed from the stump.

“SSSsss… Sorcery and swords!” The whisper stopped them both in their tracks and they stared, horrified at the thing. “I wassss and honorable man once…”

Zander looked at Hayner who was shaking his head, whispering a prayer. He swung his sword in an arch cutting the other arm. The thing groaned again, turning its head in that direction.

“Gods forsook us,” It leaned forward. “Burn me.”

“It’s aware.” Zander whispered.

“The hell it is.” Hayner took its head off, the blow made his head roll into the darkness. The torso collapsed backwards, the front of it tearing away from base, the smell of rotting intestines filled the air as they dribbled out of its stomach.

Zander gagged, stumbling backwards as his own stomach tried to reject his meager dinner.

Hayner walked away blinking rapidly. “Lets get through that tunnel and onto the ______ plains.”

Zander stared at the thing nodding. “What was it?”

“Something that should have died in the last god war.”¬†¬†

 

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The Magic Maker

New story is up for sale at Smashwords, pending at Kindle, Nook and up at Xin Xii

To save her brother from being sold as a slave, Tia takes a job running messages for a crime lord. Unfortunately, there are strange things afoot in the city of Vin, and she finds herself embroiled in the machinations of a Sorceress. With an entombed voice begging for help, and time running out, Tia must find a way to save her brother and escape the city before it is too late.

This one was fun to write, I really love…. doh can’t say that. ūüėõ

Now to figure out what the next project will be.

My Madonna is slated for submission, but kids are up and I just can’t work on THAT story with toddlers running around.

Elemental Truth, which I am hoping to put up in Nov, still needs editing
Elemental Storm Needs to be finished

I want to write new words though.
I also want to play my PSP….. Harvest Moon is calling me…

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Time Management

Any hobby or profession a person chooses is going to eat up a certain amount of time out of one’s day to become really proficient at it. A sculptor, welder, painter, photographer, gardener and so on, is going to spend time on their hobbies. A writer is no different.

A common complaint I hear is that “I have no time for writing!” and I have to say I call bullshit on that. No! You yell, I have college! A full time job! Kids! I don’t have time to write!

I can think up many examples of people who simply MAKE time to write. And making time to write, while sometimes very challenging, can be done. Here are a few suggestions that I have found useful.

First of all you have to figure out what is taking up your time. Work, school, kids recitals/activities, tv(big time waster here), video games (Another time eater), surfing the internet(here too), other hobbies. Once you figure out what is taking your time up ask yourself how badly do I want to write?

Is it a passing fancy? Is it a drive that if you don’t it will make you go insane? Or somewhere in between?

Then find 15 min in your day, every day, to write.

Just 15 min. Open up your writing program and write. (we will discuss writer’s block another time)
Wait! You flail, arms waving madly, “I don’t see 15 min in which I can write!”

Do you have a lunch break at work? Take your note book and scribble down ideas. Do you have a ten or twenty min gap in between classes? For you kids in High School what about lunch break?

When you get off of work many people (myself included when I worked, am a SAHM/writer these days) like to slump on the couch and watch TV. But if you find yourself flipping channels perhaps your time could be better spent writing.

I know a lady who has a passion for writing, omg this woman astounds me (she’s a dear friend of mine) and she kicks out high word counts. High quality high word counts. She works over 60 hours a week, runs three kids to college/jobs I swear the woman is driving herself into the ground. But her free time, she writes.

Over years of doing this has given her the skill to be able to get a high quantity of words down in a relatively short period of time. She has chosen wisely how she spends her time.

I have 9 kids, my household is sometimes very very busy. I also homeschool which makes it interesting when I am trying to edit and help with algebra at the same time (doesn’t work, I don’t recommend it). I have learned how to be able to grab any spare time I have in between babies, lessons, laundry and dishes. It has not been easy.

It ISN’T easy. You know that things that are worth it never are.

I have encountered new writers who don’t seem to understand that the only way to get better at writing is by…. writing.

You can’t sit on the couch watching tv and eating potato chips and expect to become Mr/Ms Olympia. You can’t not run and expect to run a 3 min mile. You can’t not practice singing/playing a musical instrument and then expect to become a world class musician and/or singer. You cannot not write and expect to get better/publishable.

The only way to improve your writing, to increase your skills at utilizing the written word, is through writing. Trust me thinking about writing and actually doing it are two completely different things. Thinking about it won’t get the idea down, won’t give you the story to re-read and ready for publication (whichever direction you want to publish). You have to do it. And to do it, you sometimes have to make time to do it.

My biggest suggestions when it comes to writing:
Schedule 15 min every day to write SOMETHING.
Reorganize your internet/tv/video gaming time and slip writing in there
Sit down and figure out how important writing is to you.
Carry around a notebook, when you are waiting for the kids to get out of school, write, when you are waiting for the train, bus, plane, your ride; write.
You already carry a paperback or an ereader with you, right? So substitute a notebook and instead of reading in your spare time, or texting about the latest gossip; write.

Get rid of time wasters. Or limit them. Sure I love watching mind numbing tv. But I love writing more.

For me the biggest issue is the internet, I don’t watch tv, and I can’t afford the games I really love playing (Final Fantasy) because I’d have to get new gaming machines.

But I read blogs, I read the news, I read the Livejournal. There is one writer chat I go to. That is a writer chat though and it helps me keep on track (really…it does….I swear :P). I do need to work on limiting my blog reading time but you folks are often very interesting….

The bottom line is that EVERYONE can schedule at least ten to fifteen min a day to write SOMETHING. You just have to arrange your day and figure out when. Carrying around a notebook helps. Hey there’s always bathroom trips….

Happy Writing, keep it up!

P.S. I’m not asking anyone to justify how you use your time, it isn’t my business. Each situation, each person is different. And yes sometimes there just ISN’T the time to write, I understand that and am not trying to be judgmental. Sometimes sleep is the better choice….

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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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Redshirts

A few years ago I wrote this silly little story about Redshirts in my novels. It amused me to no end. However when I subbed it I got told by several magazines that since the story was geared towards Authors, not regular readers that readers wouldn’t get it. I was invited to resubmit more work but at the time I didn’t have any. So the little story hung around on my harddrive, I would open it periodically, reading and chortling but at a loss of what to do.


It is now available on Smashwords, XinXii and pending at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Cole’s goal in life is to survive. As a Redshirt in a novel, that is a very difficult thing indeed. Even eating breakfast can become a life and death situation. Redshirts is a piece of Flash Fiction, about 1000 words, or about 3 or 4 pages printed out.

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