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Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

I’ve been doing some thinking about that Cinderella story potentially set in the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING. I think it might be titled DAUGHTER OF THE SECRET MAGE or something similar, if it works.

If it works, this will become a series centered around saving the world–or this corner of it–but not around the same cast of characters. The main characters of DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING would be only side characters, perhaps mentors, in this book. And so on for, perhaps, three or four books.

Also, I think I may need to reread DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING before I actually start anything.

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But thinking is all I’m doing right now. I have several things to figure out if I hope to make this work. Also, there is just too much real life stuff going on. I thought March would have to be better than February that way. Sometimes, when you hope for something like that, the universe laughs evilly and sets out to prove you wrong.

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I’m a day late posting again. This week has been . . . one of those weeks so far. But in part, you know, it’s really just more of the same.

I haven’t pinned down yet what’s really holding me back on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

I just know that for this one, powering through, as I’ve sometimes done before, isn’t going to be the answer.

I don’t know if it’s something about the story. That sometimes happens. Something could be wrong and I just haven’t identified it yet.

Or it could be that life in general has been kicking my . . . well, you know for the last month. Except that this block started before that. Still, recent real-life stuff would not have been helping.

Or it just might be that the creative well has not been replenished sufficiently lately and I need to do something about that. Read more widely. Watch a movie I haven’t seen before. Take a day trip or two.

Or maybe I just need to switch to another story. Maybe another sub-genre, not sword and sorcery or epic fantasy. Not Meadowsweet. That one just isn’t calling to me right now.

I’ve had an idea on the back burner for a different take on a Cinderella story in which the step-mother is not actually the villain–though Cinderella would think she was. That story might fit into the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING.

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Maybe I’ll even try getting on a writer’s chat room and brainstorming that one. The interchange of ideas itself might help break the log jam. Who knows?

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. . . try sideways. Thinking about WILD MAGE (formerly ROGUE MAGE), the second book in the series, just might get me started writing again. Not yet, but–hopefully–soon. It has shown me that MAGE STORM has to end in a different place than I’d originally thought. So that’s something.

Mage Storm

In other news, Sadie has vanquished the monster in the walls.

Sadie goes after the monster in the walls

Now I just have to finish patching the wall. I’ve got some left-over bead board paneling put up there so this won’t happen again. There’s almost certainly some left over molding out in the garage to finish the top as well. All I need to do is cut down the bead board to fit and tack it up.

Unfortunately, it seems I don’t have the tools I need anymore. A coping saw just isn’t cutting it (pun intended). Well, I’ll just have to improvise. Or go get a better tool. One or the other.

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Okay, I’m willing to admit that I’m in some kind of writing slump. Maybe it’s writer’s block. I haven’t really accomplished any writing . . . well, not much really so far this year. All I have accomplished is some critiques for other writers, which is good, but it doesn’t get my stories down.

I don’t know what it is about MAGE STORM that’s just not moving me to write.

Mage Storm

Maybe it’s because I’ve already written this story and rewritten or heavily revised it at least once. The enthusiasm I had a couple of months ago for MEADOWSWEET . . . well, if I don’t act on that kind of enthusiasm fairly quickly, it tends to evaporate. And that’s pretty much what happened to that.

But I know my own creative process well enough to know that I’ll only get ideas–and enthusiasm for writing–when I’m writing. Conundrum, that. So, I need to figure out a way to break myself out of this. Maybe it’s going through my files and finding another story that sings to me.

Maybe it’s playing around with the first sequel to MAGE STORM. There’ll be at least four books in that series, if I can ever get off the start line with it. And I’ve never written a word of ROGUE MAGE. Maybe that would give me enough drive to actually rewrite the first book, MAGE STORM, so I could get to ROGUE MAGE. Only trying will tell.

Meanwhile, I still have a full roster of chores to work through, too. First and most urgent is getting the yard mowed. Now, you have to understand, I don’t really have a lawn as such–or only in a very small area. The rest I’m in the process of redoing in a more sustainable–and less labor intensive form. (I hate to mow almost as much as I hate to vacuum.) The problem with being in the middle of that project . . . well, a picture is worth a thousand words, they say.

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It got so out of hand because of all the rain we’ve had so far this year. It kept on being too wet to mow, but all that water just made the weeds grow like crazy. That tall stuff back there, that’s mostly common mallow. It’s tough and fibrous and a problem to mow, even with that little mower in the picture which is actually a mega string trimmer with a 6 horsepower engine.

I have to do a little at a time–and then stop to unwind the fibers from the underside of the trimmer. And all made more interesting by having to find and then work around the plants I’ve already got out there as part of the re-landscaping. (You can just see some of the red berries on a pyracantha bush there to the left of the mower.) I’ve just determined that this is not likely a single weekend task.

And then there’s Monster-in-the Walls Part 2. I’m not kidding. Several years ago now, I kept hearing a scratching in the walls. It’d stop when I tried to locate it, but I finally narrowed it down to a short section of wall in the hallway. We actually cut a hole in the wall to figure out what was going on–and then hastily patched it back up when two little masked faces looked out at us. Raccoons. Specifically raccoon kits. Not long after, mama raccoon moved them out, fortunately. Now, it’s happening again. Except, I’m pretty sure this time it’s skunks. I don’t think I need to explain why I think that. Ooh, boy.

The reason this is even possible has to do with the history of the house. The chimney was already in place in what is now a corner when the addition–including the hallway–was built. There is no exterior wall in that short section that backs up to the chimney,  just a short bit of vertical siding between the chimney and the exterior of the addition. So the wall is, in effect, about twice as thick as normal. More than enough room for small creatures to explore up into the wall.

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And the scratching is driving Sadie crazy.

This time, I think I’m going to have to figure out a more permanent solution.

 

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Late Again

By my very own schedule, this post was due on Wednesday. It’s Friday, so . . . yeah, I’m late again.

Life just got a little crazy this week and forced to choose between writing this blog post and spending time with Sadie . . . guess who won.

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Although I have a number of chores on my list for this weekend–while it has, at least temporarily, stopped raining–I hope and expect that things will now settle down to allow me to carve out some more productive writing time.

One of those chores is to begin some training with Sadie. She came to me with excellent house manners, but there are one or two specific things I’d like to train. Cheese appears to be a good high-value reward to grease that along. Regular obedience training will start in April, I expect.

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Sadie

I’ve been without a dog since I lost Micah back in August.

Introducing Sadie.

Sadie by my desk

Technically, she’s here for a trial period. For my part, the trial was over almost before it started, but I’m going to give her a few days to settle in and relax.

That’s her curled up by my desk. She’s a real sweetheart. We’ll start with an obedience class–she’s got great house manners and an excellent recall, but not the sort of commands she’ll need for agility. Then we’ll start agility classes.

This has taken most of my concentration for the last couple of days. And might for a few more. And that’s as it should be.

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Things got rather mixed around here.

First, Friday started out like this:

 

That’s my car, trapped behind the fallen tree.

Then Saturday, apart from nursing a few sore muscles from helping to deal with that mess at least enough for going on with, I tackled all of the weekend chores because I expected to be away today. However, due to the rain, it was decided to reschedule that trip until next weekend. And, possibly due to the real storms, I haven’t much felt like writing about a fictional one today.

So, not a lot of writing has taken place over the last few days.

I’ll get back to work on MAGE STORM possibly later today or Monday.

Mage Storm

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