Archive for July, 2019

Well, the plumbing fiasco–and my feelings about it–have derailed the small amount of momentum I’d started to build.

But I am not going to let that defeat me. No way. So the thing to do is to get back to that rewrite of MAGE STORM–painful as it is at the moment.

Mage Storm

Because that won’t last. Once I get some real momentum–or, at the latest, when I get past these first few chapters into the part that will diverge from the original–it’ll start really flowing. It will. All my other stories have. And just about every one of them has been hard to get really rolling. Why should this one be any different?

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All I can say is this week so far has been abysmal. Horrible. I want this week to be over. The last two days have been mostly interrupted by plumbers.

I’ve gotten the chance to work on maybe three or four sentences of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

This too shall pass–eventually.

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I’m gradually getting momentum on the rewrite of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Very gradually. I’m still working on Chapter 1. But I am making progress. And I really think that this version is much better. Which, in turn, feeds my desire to work on it. And helps build momentum.

For the moment, I’m copying the old chapter into my new document in a different color. In fact, I’m using Word’s Heading 3, which allows me to track every line in the navigation pane. Then I’m rewriting paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, deleting the old version from the document as I go. This works, for now, because the first few chapters will remain mostly the same–in terms of what happens in them. After about chapter 6, things will begin to diverge from the original plot. I may still refer back to the original in much the same way in some places, but not wholesale.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing with the clean-up of the yard. And the house cleaning. Well, at least it keeps me from sitting in my desk chair all day. And I’m making progress with those, too.


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I have started the rewrite of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

I like what I’ve got so far much better. However, it seems starting a rewrite is very much like starting a first draft. It just takes a while to build momentum.

I also need to rebuild the habit of writing daily. I didn’t do any yesterday. Well, maybe one sentence. That’s not going to get this done. So I’m going to have to make sure I put in at least some time every day to get back to where I need to be. Just takes discipline–and not allowing procrastination.

Yeah, right.

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I’ve finished the read-through of the old version of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

It reinforced my belief that I just need to do it over, not try to fix it. Well, mostly. There were a couple of new chapters that I’d written for the previous attempt that can probably stay. It’s a good story, but I can just do a much better job of executing it now. It’ll be like a whole new first draft.

I copied over the (new) Prologue and then revised it some more.

I haven’t yet started on the first chapter, which will be a rewrite. Yesterday, I had to have the refrigerator fixed and that sort of shot my motivation to deal with anything else.  Poor Sadie didn’t even get a walk–although she did get to play in the hose until her tongue was hanging out so far I thought she’d trip on it.

I’m just about to get down to writing today–after some more yard clean up and some heavy cleaning in the laundry room–well, one corner of the laundry room. So far, anyway. Oh, and a load of laundry, of course.

But things look like beginning to move again, anyway. Fingers crossed.

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I’ve been making excellent progress on the read-through of the old version of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

So good that I only have three chapters left. So, by this weekend at the latest, I’ll be ready–hopefully–to restart the rewrite.

I have confirmed that yes, as much as I like this story, I am going to need to just start over. I can do much better now.

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Inspiration is where you find it–and it can come from anything.

A couple of months back, I posted that one of the things I was doing during this bout of writer’s block to prime the pump was to subscribe to The Great Courses Plus, which has lecture series by experts on all sorts of topics. I probably should mention here that I’ve always been a little bit of a history geek, though of an eclectic selection of eras and locations.

The first one I watched was “The Celtic World”, which was very interesting. It didn’t spark any immediate inspiration, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if something I heard there cropped up in some later story.

After finishing that, I decided to start one on King Arthur (though it was a close thing between that and one on the great mythologies of the world). King Arthur edged the other out mostly because there’ve been a couple of stories simmering on the back burners. One is based on an ancient Welsh story of the greater Arthurian cycle, but not near the core of what we, now, consider to be the central story (much of which probably wasn’t part of the original tale). The other would probably start off of part of the Arthur legend as a springboard, but move on from there.

So far, this is also a very interesting course. But the big inspirational moment so far . . . well, it has more to do with world building than story, per se. Still, it’s something I don’t ever remember hearing anywhere else. And, so far, I haven’t been able to turn up anything on line.

Nevertheless, I like it very much. This was a little rule about travel time in medieval–or medievalesque–settings. And it could apply to others as well, I think. Anyway, it went like this:

If it would take you 23 days to walk to a particular destination, it would take only 6 days if you rode a horse, or only 1 day, if you were able to go by ship.

Now that is a cool little world-building detail. It’ll never be a story in itself, but it doesn’t have to be. And . . . it’s just possible that this might find a place in the new and (hopefully) improved version of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

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Well, as far as I’ve gotten on my read-through of MAGE STORM, I’ve come to one conclusion.

Mage Storm

When I restart, this is going to have to be a scrape-it-down-to-bare-earth-and-start-over rewrite. I’d been trying to do a sort of light version of a rewrite–heavy revisions and insert new material where needed. That’s just not going to work, here.

It’s not that it’s bad as it stands now. It’s just not as good as I’m capable of after writing several more books since the first version of MAGE STORM. Plus some of the changes that need to be made. Well, it’s not going to work that way. I suspect that I already knew that, sort of subconsciously, and that’s why–or at least part of why–I got blocked.

Oh, well. It’s not like I haven’t done just that before.




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Yes, I know it’s Tuesday, not Wednesday, when I usually post. I got a month behind, so I figure I owe a few extra posts.

Okay, it’s not progress on MAGE STORM. Not yet.

Mage Storm

However, the lower patio has been found! (Well, technically, it was never lost. Just so overgrown it was barely possible to get to it.)

Here’s today’s picture.

Lower Patio 2019

Yeah, it needs to be swept again–or maybe hosed down. Sadie’ll love that. She adores playing in the hose.

I’m still going to have to do a bit of pruning. This is the entrance to the patio right now.

Entrance to Lower Patio

Just a little tight.

No table right now. I don’t think the old table is very functional right now. (And yes, that’s another area I’m going to have to clean up–just in a different way.)

Broken Table

I have to figure out how to repair the table or do something else. I have an old wrought iron table base that would have to be cleaned up–and a new top found. But that could work and might be easier to do, especially since I know a company that would pick it up, sand blast it, paint it, and deliver it back.

There’s a story behind this patio. And since what I’m trying to get to ultimately is get back to telling stories, maybe telling this one will help with that.

Years ago–never mind how many–I bought the original bench as a Father’s Day gift. Dad was retired by then and spending much of his time outside, so I thought an extra place to sit was a great idea. So did Dad. He immediately went out and bought the chairs and table–at a different store. They don’t match–never did–but only Mom and I ever seemed to care about that.

But few things were ever quite that uncomplicated with Dad, whose motto was, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” He decided that, since the chairs and bench were heavy, they might sink into the mud if we got too much rain. (Not entirely impossible. It’s adobe clay soil, which does get muddy, and might as well be concrete once it dries out.) Therefore, we had to build a patio–I helped him with that–before we put the new furniture out.

And no, that’s not the original bench I bought for Dad. A couple of years after he died, I found the old bench knocked over against the bricks that form the edge of the perennial bed behind it. Neighborhood kids, probably, but I’ll never know. Cast iron will break and it had–irreparably. So I bought a new bench because this really is a very nice, shady place to sit on a warm day.

It had only gotten overgrown during the last couple of years I was taking care of Mom when I just didn’t have the time or energy to keep up . . . well, most of the yard. Yeah, Mom’s been gone five years, now. So it’s about time I resurrected this patio.

Oh, and why do I call it the lower patio? Because beyond those bushes and the crepe myrtle tree and up a few steps is the upper patio (which clearly needs to be swept again).

Upper Patio

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