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Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

Well, I forgot to post on Sunday, didn’t I? All I can say is that time is beginning to feel a little surreal right now. Really weird to see no one on the streets and almost no cars. Trying to maintain something like a regular schedule, but . . . .

In any case, five of my books are now free for others who are also spending way more time at home than usual. We are all Safer at Home, right now.

The Shaman’s Curse is perma-free and has been for a while:

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The next four are free now thru April 12th. (Amazon has price-matched in the US, so far.)

Become: To Catch the Lightning:

BecomeCover2

Fire and Earth (with its shiny new cover):

3D computer graphics of a female warrior with fantasy dress and sword

The Bard’s Gift:

TBG New

and Daughter of the Disgraced King:

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Meanwhile, I have mostly been doing a little more research for my work-in-progress, so not much direct progress. But, if you don’t get the foundation right, it’s a lot harder to get the whole book to hang together, so not time wasted.

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I confess to having been knocked a bit off balance last week. A lot of things happened in a short space of time. I know I’m not alone in that. It’s a new reality we’re all trying to cope with.

But this week I am committed to getting myself back up out of that slump and doing things. At least those things I can do. Some work in the yard (I did a little this morning.), some house cleaning, something creative. And figuring out how to manage or work around those that I can’t or shouldn’t do right now. (I fall into the vulnerable group as far as this virus goes.) I’m seriously tempted to restart my vegetable garden (in some other place until I can clean up the old one), even though I know nothing would be ready for harvest for at least two months.

I did manage to get the books and stories I still had in Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited pulled out and up for wider distribution. So, that’s something. And now that they’re wide–or as soon as the distribution works through the systems of the various retailers, I’ll likely start setting some of them free for a limited time. Everybody needs some form of escape right now and books seem to be one of the only safe ways. And, in times that are just as unsettled financially as they are health-wise, well, it’s something I can do to help out.

Gold Flame Dragon

And I swear I am going to get some work done on the new story. Really. I may even start working on cover art.

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I haven’t really gotten any writing done recently. But, as I’m about to have two weeks off (I hope it’s only two weeks) while the schools are closed, hopefully I’ll be able to make the most of the time.

I’ll also use the time to prepare several books/stories that were in Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited. I’ll be taking all of them wide (Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc.) by the end of this month.

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I have actually started writing again on DRAGON AGAINST DRAGON. (I have to think of a better title, but the working title is fine for now.) Unfortunately, I also managed to tweak my back. Not badly, but just enough that I can’t sit for very long without it stiffening up on me. Which is probably good for my weight loss goal. And for cleaning up the back “bedroom”, finally. (It’s probably been about 30 years since anyone actually slept in there, and about 20 since there was even a bed in that room. More of a storage room, now, but in desperate need of organization.) Not quite so good for getting a lot of writing done.

Also a little progress on FIRE AND EARTH–but not complete progress.

3D computer graphics of a female warrior with fantasy dress and sword

I’ve done my part and updated everything I plan to change, but somehow it didn’t all make it through Amazon’s process. The e-book has the new blurb, but not the new cover. On the other hand, the print version has the new cover, but not the new blurb. I guess I’ll have to contact Amazon tomorrow and see if I can get that straightened out. I want to run a promotion before it comes out of Kindle Unlimited later this month, but not with the old cover.

Good news is that THE BARD’S GIFT may not need anything but a little adjustment to the back matter for its “relaunch”.

TBG New

I want to add a sample chapter or two from BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, rather than the current chapters of DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING. THE BARD’S GIFT has more than a touch of Norse mythology and the BECOME series is inspired by Greek mythology, so that might be a good match for readers.

Not sure yet what, if anything, I’m going to do about a relaunch of DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING. It’s kind of an odd book out in my back list. I’ll probably go on to do some relaunch on the DUAL MAGICS series before worrying about that one.

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I failed to post on Wednesday, I know. Something came up that has had me too stressed out to write this week. I think I’ve formulated a plan, now, and maybe I’ll be able to get back to writing. Generally, once I have a plan and can get started on it, I can relax. And start writing again.

Meantime, I’ve been thinking about genre, some. Well, several things kind of came together to make me realize something. It has to do, among other things, with what genre to put MAGE STORM into.

Mage Storm

I’ve always framed MAGE STORM, to myself, as an epic fantasy, because it does have an epic problem, epic stakes. But . . . in other ways it doesn’t fit the typical epic fantasy mold.

The more I think about it, I’m not sure that’s how readers will see it. It seems to me, that readers of epic fantasy have come to expect the great climax that saves the world and then everyone can go home and get on with their lives. After all, that’s the model Tolkien set up with THE LORD OF THE RINGS, arguably the archetype of epic fantasy.

But . . . well, here’s how I see it. Tolkien fought in World War I. That’s how he saw war. The men–it is all males in LotR–put their lives on hold, go off and save the world, or their corner of it, and then go back home. Only, well, in my lifetime, that hasn’t been how war–or military conflicts, since we haven’t had a declared war–works. It goes on and on, sometimes into the next generation. And, sometimes, no one wins; they just agree to stop fighting. And, at the same time, many of the other kinds of problems we try to tackle are not the kind that can be solved in one blow.

It’s entirely natural and right that authors today should write stories that reflect our reality–even into fantasy realms we make up out of whole cloth. It’s part of what speculative fiction does–reframe realities in a different, more distant setting so, sometimes, we can take a clearer look at the issues. See the forest without being blinded by the trees.

But, there’s still that expectation of what epic fantasy will be like. And MAGE STORM isn’t going to fit that mold. There isn’t going to be one great climax where everything is solved. More like incremental steps and strategies for improvement.

So . . . I’m still left with the question. When I finally finish MAGE STORM and prepare to publish it, what genre do I call it? It’s certainly not sword and sorcery (no swords at all, for one thing). What kind of a bird is it?

 

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Of course this week we had hot, humid weather. In previous years, school would not have started until the Thursday of last week (Thursday after Labor Day), but, in their “wisdom”, they moved the start of school up ten days–just in time to hit what is usually the most humid part of the year, here. Naturally without making any adjustments to make that easier to deal with.

So, basically, there wasn’t enough left of me to do any writing during the week. It is cooling off–and much less humid–now. Hopefully this weather will hold for a little while.

I have gotten some writing/revising done on MAGE STORM this weekend, at least.

Mage Storm

And hope to get more done during the week, because the week after that will be busy with other things and the one after that I may be on jury duty.

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Whew!

I know I didn’t post at all last week. All I can say is that the first week back at school kicked my . . . . Well, you know.

However, I did still make some progress on the rewrite of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

I even finished another chapter. So it wasn’t a total waste. And what little energy I had to spare was better used for that, so I don’t lose momentum entirely. I even finished another chapter.

Here’s hoping next week will be a bit easier. At the very least, it’ll be a day shorter.

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