Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2019

Momentum

It’s early to tell yet, but I may just be finally gaining momentum on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Not that I won’t still have to go back and fix the beginning, but I may have made enough notes about that in the manuscript to make it possible to move forward.

What turned the tide (if it has turned)? Well, it’s strange what will work. In this case, sharing a short excerpt on social media and garnering some interest in it.

At the flicker of green light, Rell blinked and lowered the clay jug to glance across the open plains. He shrugged. Maybe it was nothing, just a trick of the light or a reflection. Everything was some shade of green or yellow in that direction except the line of clouds on the horizon. “Looks like there’ll be a storm, later.”

Da didn’t even look up from his weeding. “All the more reason to get this done earlier. Quit your daydreaming, Rell. Back to work.”

Rell sighed and knelt next to the row of three-inch-high corn he was supposed to be weeding. From the corner of his eye he saw the lightning fork down from the distant clouds. He froze, half bent to his work. That bolt had been red! He would swear to it. There were a lot fewer things on the plains at this time of year that could be that color. He jumped to his feet, brushing the heavy clay soil from his hands and tossing his head to get the unruly brown hair out of his eyes.

A bolt of orange lightning forked down as Rell watched. No thunder followed the flash. No thunder had followed any of them. Silent lightning made Rell’s skin crawl as much as the weird colors. The towering clouds loomed a lot nearer, scudding across the sky with unnatural speed. The underside of the thunderheads flashed with shifting colors—white, red, green, blue, yellow. Rell silently cursed every one of the seven gods. He’d only seen this twice before that he remembered, but there was no mistaking it.

“Mage storm!” Rell shouted.

Read Full Post »

Despite several distractions, I’ve started working on MEADOWSWEET.

I’ll probably continue working on MAGE STORM some, too,

Mage Storm

switching back and forth as inspiration moves me until one or the other gains momentum. At least it will keep me actually writing, which, experience tells me, is the only way I’m going to generate the ideas I need.

I’ll have to also start working out cover art for MEADOWSWEET. So far, that’s proved elusive.

Read Full Post »

A day late again. And no good excuse this time. Ah well, I’ll get back on schedule Sunday.

Most of my writing time has been thinking, lately. I’ve made a little progress on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

But mainly I’ve been thinking about the right place to start MEADOWSWEET. Of course, the possibility exists that it still won’t be the right place in the final draft, but it’s nice to start as close to the right place as possible. I think I’ve got it sorted out, so I may be switching to that very soon. Or working on both, of course. I am crazy enough to do that, too.

Read Full Post »

Excuses

Missed posting yesterday. Well, what can I say? Yesterday was one of those days when things just didn’t work out as planned. I tried unclogging the kitchen sink with my brand new sink snake–and only succeeded in making a bigger mess. I have concluded that I need a hands on tutorial on how to use a drain snake. And, while I was doing that, the washing machine overflowed. Just . . . yeah, not my best day.

And the day before that I’d spent at a dog show. Well, and driving 70 or so miles there and the same back again. Going up was a very pleasant drive. Coming back . . . where did all that traffic come from on a Saturday. Glad I didn’t try to go up for the regional specialty on Friday. (For those who don’t know, a specialty dog show is one devoted to a single breed of dogs, in this case Cardigan Welsh corgis. Most exhibitors who were there for the specialty stayed for the regular dog shows over the weekend, which made it a good time to go up and make contact with some breeders and see a lot of beautiful dogs. That part was fun. I want another Cardi so badly.)

Micah and Aliza

Michael (2004-2018) and Aliza (2000 -2016), my previous Cardigan Welsh Corgis

Put all of that together with the week from hades–rain four out of five days, paired with someone having the bright idea to pick last week to do maintenance on the utility poles–multiple very large trucks taking up critical parking–sometimes directly across from each other so that the street was effectively a single lane. Oh, and on a curve, so you never knew if someone else was starting into that narrow spot from the other direction.

Well, enough excuses. No, I didn’t get any writing done on anything last week. No rain forecast for next week, though, so there’s hope.

Read Full Post »

Very slowly.

I’m still wrestling with MAGE STORM. And this week has been harder than most in the day job.

Mage Storm

I’m probably going to switch over to MEADOWSWEET for a while to let my subconscious work on the problem. That always works better when I’m actively writing.

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from the new portion of MAGE STORM:

Katria jerked upright from scrubbing the floor at the sound of the bell ringing the universal signal for a mage storm. By sixteen years of reflex she turned toward where the trap door to the stone-walled cellar shelter should be. Where it would be if this were the familiar house in Marketown where she’d lived until last month. But this wasn’t Marketown, it was Sawyer’s Oaks and this house had no cellar. She tried to control her breathing. Papa had shown them all where the shelter was, just a little way into the dead stumps of the Blighted Forest on the other side of the . . . you could barely call it a town.

She thought she could find the way. She was pretty sure she could, anyway. If she hurried, she wouldn’t have to worry about that; she could just follow everyone else. But Katria couldn’t just run off. Papa and the older boys had gone to survey the new growth that was beginning to take the place of the burned and blackened stumps of the Blighted Forest. Mama had gone to help Great Aunt Elzy with something and taken Grandfather with her to gossip with Great Uncle Hames. That left Katria in charge of getting her younger sister and brother to the shelter. Rosella would be just outside, hanging up the laundry. Where Natan would have gotten to . . . .

Rosella, ran into the room. “Katria! What do we do?”

Katria scrambled up so fast that she tipped over the pail of wash water. No matter. That could be dealt with later. She turned to her younger sister, trying hard to keep her voice normal. “We’re going to get Natan and go to the shelter Papa showed us on that first day.”

“Mama will come for us, won’t she?”

Katria suppressed a grimace at that thought. Mama was closer to the cave than they were and she’d have Grandfather to look after. And he didn’t hurry well at all any more. Coming back for them would only put Mama in more danger. But that’s exactly what Mama would do if Katria didn’t get Rosella and Natan on the way to the shelter first. “If we hurry, we’ll meet her on the way.” I hope. “Help me find Natan.”

Read Full Post »

Decision Time

I have enough feedback from my critique partners now to know that there are problems with the first five chapters of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Now, that’s to be expected in a first draft. But not this many problems. I have twelve markup notes in the first chapter. Eleven in the second. Three or four would be more normal. This likely also accounts for my difficulty in making real headway on this one. Some part of me recognized that things just weren’t coming together right.

My usual rule with first drafts is that they only go in one direction–forward. But those first few chapters are the foundation upon which the story has to be built. And if I ignore these problems, they’re only going to multiply the further I go.

Some of that has to do with the history of this project. The first version was (unintentionally) a middle grade story and I’m trying to grow it up to a more general epic fantasy. The story can be that. But probably not the way I’ve been approaching it. Many–not all–of the problems have to do with the characters ages, which are supposed to be a couple of years older than in that first version. In some parts, though, they act younger. The only solution may be to scrape back down to bare ground and really rewrite it, not just try add new parts and revise the rest.

Probably, I’ll go ahead and finish the chapter I’m currently working on. It’s a brand new one so doesn’t suffer from the problems of the rewritten portions. And then I’m going to have to think hard about just how I’m going to proceed.

And to think, I thought this project would be easy because I’d already written it once.

I may skip over and do a little work on MEADOWSWEET while I think. It’s good to have another project on deck for times like this.

Read Full Post »

In Other News

Because progress reports about how much or how little I’ve written on MAGE STORM are boring,

Mage Storm

maybe I should post about something else.

First choice would be what I’m learning. I bought a number of books about the business–especially the marketing–side of this writing business. Unfortunately, so far I haven’t had any epiphanies. Well, except that everyone seems to agree that I need to just bite the bullet and start a mailing list. Something I’ve been resisting. Maybe I’ll give it another go. Maybe. I can be a pretty good procrastinator when I want to. Not in the same class as my Dad,

Dad in Uniform

My father.

but . . . the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree.

What else is going on?

Well, since I lost both my dogs. Aliza in May 2016 and Micah just this last August,

Micah and Aliza

I’ve been wanting to get another dog. I’ve looked a couple of places, but I what I really want is another Cardigan Welsh Corgi. I’d gotten on a waiting list for a litter that was planned for this coming summer, but now it looks like that won’t happen. So, I’m going to get more serious and really start looking. Talking to Cardi breeders, for a start.

That could get interesting. Both Aliza and Micah came to me as adults while I was taking care of my mother,

Mom, Young

and needed dogs of known temperament and some level of maturity.  Aliza was fifteen months old, a failed show prospect but a champion companion, when I got her. Micah was three and a half years old, a retired breed champion, when he came to me. Both came from their breeders. But . .  . I haven’t had a puppy since I was in the sixth grade. It’d be a whole new experience. I’m going to look into Cardigan rescue, too. But that’s probably a long shot. Not too many Cardis end up in rescue.

So . . . that’s most of what else is occupying my time right now–aside from the day job, of course.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »