New year, new um… #IWSG

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. Not sure why, but they just never worked for me.

A draft of book 7 is waiting for me. I decided to take at least a month away from it before coming back which is really weird because I usually dive right into editing in December. In the interim, I’ve been poking at some side stuff, trying to figure out where things are going post. Things that will actually help me edit the book itself.

I swear it makes sense. Maybe only to me, but it does.

This year I’d like to pick up some other things that have fallen by the wayside. Nothing I would constitute as a resolution, but I’m going to get back to drawing. I should probably find an accountability partner for this. For now, I need to learn Procreate.

I also need to get back to figuring out what to do with my website. While I map out the sections, there will likely be a lot of blank pages until I go back and fill in.

Book 8 is stewing in my mind also. I hadn’t wanted to do two background stories back-to-back so I held off. Then there’s all the other writing projects and concepts that have been collecting dust.

I know I won’t get to it all. I’m not sure how much I can get to. What do I choose to put aside for the time being (possibly again)? Eventually I’ll figure it out.

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Writing joys and woes #IWSG

NaNoWriMo is over and the year is quickly coming to an end. I’m not sure what to make of it all. There has been so much going on that it’s been hard to keep track of.

I’m not even certain what to write at this point. About as much as my brain wants to work right now is to look at the calendar and see how soon the next expansion for Final Fantasy XIV drops. I’ll be happily indulging myself in Endwalker’s story.

December’s optional question: In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

Plenty of stressors in writing. From having no idea where the story is going while I’m getting a draft down to how it’ll be received. This year’s NaNo project definitely had me pulling on my hair. It would not work last year and after bouncing some ideas with my alpha reader, I managed to push through this year. I haven’t gone back yet to see how bad it is, but he got his hands on it while I was still writing and it sounds promising.

But that happens a lot. I do, however, take delight in seeing it all come together. Not to mention the kind words I’ve received from people over the years who have enjoyed my series. Though I’ll admit, I’m afraid to ask specific questions on what in particular they like. And it doesn’t help that I am the keeper of all spoilers.

Sorry this is so short and disjointed. Usually I’ll have pulled up the project already and started making sure everything is lined up since I’ll change my mind on the fly and not go back to edit because, well, NaNo, but I think I’m going to let it sit for a little bit. Maybe poke at it again later in the month.

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I forgot… #IWSG

Uh… oops. It’s been chaotic and I’ve kept missing IWSG days and am running late on it today, but at least it’s still today. And yet somehow I’ve remembered during NaNoWriMo.

November IWSG question: What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

The blurb. The blurb is the bane of my existence. The “let me tell you about the book without spoiling anything” ends up going through so many rewrites. I always have a number of people looking it over.

The title? Usually I was giggling coming up with random titles and then picked one to see if it would stick or not. Some did, others didn’t. Once I’ve settled on one, I make sure I work it into the story somewhere at least once. I think I got Shattered Illusions in a few times (though it may have been slightly altered on some).

I kind of wish I had kept the list of all the goofy names Brandi and I came up with while trying to title Mortgaged Mortality as a NaNoWriMo project. There were at least two dozen title ideas.

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Quit? #IWSG

IWSG question of the Month: What would make you quit writing?

I may take breaks and walk away for a while, but I don’t think I could ever quit. I’ve recently been rereading an old file. The one that I figured out that if I wanted to tell that story I needed more world building and then my current series was born. It’s funny what I forgot was in there that eventually made its way into the series. Ideas that have been brewing for years. (No, I’m not sharing, my writing was horrid.)

So, while projects may never be seen, I doubt I’ll ever stop. Writing is too much a part of me. It started as a means of escape and evolved from there.

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Divine and Conquer

Time is still a funny thing, isn’t it? Suddenly we’re a week out from release of Divine and Conquer and I still haven’t done any sort of announcement or cover reveal. I really did lose track of time with that.

Granted, I’ve been waiting to also get the files for bookmarks and FB/Twitter covers, but that’s not much of an excuse.

This will be the last one in this series for a bit. It’s a good pausing point where I can turn my attention to other projects. Currently Divine and Conquer is available for ebook preorder on Amazon and will be up for preorder (both print and ebook) with other retailers in the next few days. Print on Amazon will go live on the 21st and as for the copies I keep on hand… well, I’ll be ordering them on the 21st. I’ll announce when I have them.

A little risky #IWSG

In more ways than one. I might’ve overloaded my plate, but I’m getting through it and will hopefully not be a sobbing mess curled up in a ball in the corner after the next couple of weeks.

This is the time of year that I kick into high gear for production so I can release on time in June. I’ve got my editing done for book 6. I’ve got it formatted. And soon cover design work will begin. At the same time I’m closing on a house and moving. And you know what? Let’s throw a convention in there that I’ll have a booth at. (I didn’t plan this out very well.)

That’s not counting other personal things going on as well. I worry the risk of juggling all of this will land in something crashing.

IWSG Question of the Month:  Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I guess? I know I’ll go into sensitive topics, but that’s part of the world I’m in. I’m not going to try to cover up things like racism and sexism among other things. I’ve got ideas for other projects that may push even those boundaries.

I just haven’t found the time to get started on any of them. As it is, I’ll be poking at what exists of the 7th book in the series to see what I can salvage and what I need to do to get the story to take off.

For now, I’m just going to keep pushing through this crazy schedule I accidentally made for myself and see how things go. I’m sure it’ll be fine, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to be running in circles in a panic in the meantime.

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Whatcha reading? #IWSG

Where did the time go? It feels like I blink and a month is gone.

Granted, life has been chaotic for the past… I lost track. Recently I’ve been delving back into my side stories for Terra. Particularly a section that could go into book 6 (which is out with one of my beta readers at the moment), but it’s Silver’s perspective and I don’t want to jump like that given that I’ve always stuck to Ketayl’s so far. But it has certainly been interesting to explore this piece through his eyes while she’s not around.

I’d say more, but spoilers.

IWSG Question of the Month – Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

I’ll read most anything. Though you’ll hear me complain about trends in certain genres that just drive me up a wall. Sorry, romance.

But if it’s something that interests me (both fiction and nonfiction), I’ll happily sit down and read through it and my interests change. Sometimes those are determined by what I’m working on. I haven’t been at my volunteer post for roughly a year now (thanks, covid) which gave me access to a lot of local history, but I’ve been poking at other interests as time allows.

Throwing in the Towel #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Month: Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

Oh gosh, there’s any slew of things and it’ll range from griping the remainder of the way through to just giving up.

I remember one high fantasy series I got about 10 books in and just stopped. Right in the middle of the book. I could not take the sheer number of typos that were in it. Not to mention it wasn’t all that interesting either after the previous book, but that was one of the times that I just plain gave up. And it was a traditionally published book as well from a relatively well known author.

Granted there was also that urban fantasy book that I got at most 2 pages in and just stopped. It was another series I had been reading for a while, but between not remembering who some of the side characters were (it had been a while since I read the previous one) and the note at the beginning of how to read the book, I kind of ended up just being done. There was stuff from previous books that was getting on my nerves also. That one I mourned because I really loved those characters and that world.

There was one paranormal romance book I pushed through to the end, but most of the time I wanted to beat the main character over the head and yell at her to get back to the plot. Her two love interests could wait. I figured it was a romance thing. I’ve never done well with heavy romance. Or at least that being the main part of the plot. Science fiction and fantasy is usually my happy place. I’ll enjoy some romance mixed in.

Which after that, I’m sure you know how I felt plowing through some of those popular YA series.

In short, there’s not really one thing, but a lot of little things can throw me off and make me want to quit depending on how bad it is and how determined I am to finish. Losing track of who is talking to the point where I have to reread the passage several times is one that throws me out. Hyper-focusing on something that doesn’t need to be in the middle of something major happening. The list could go on, but it really is on a case-by-case basis.

Lately though I haven’t sat down to read for enjoyment. Much of my time is spent reading through nonfiction for research. Not necessarily even the whole book – just looking for reference. Many articles and blogs. My to-read list is at “all hope is lost” levels and I have no idea where to start. As things stand at the moment, it’s okay if it sits there a while longer. Perhaps later in the year as things settle down I can take another crack at it. There are a number of books I need to donate/sell that I’ll likely never read and I’d rather they find their way into the hands of people who will enjoy them.

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Production Time #IWSG

ISWG question of the month: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

Well, as long as we aren’t looking at 2020…

But yes, and my year more or less follows when there’s NaNoWriMo (November) or Camp NaNoWriMo (April and July). Those 3 months are typically the heaviest along with January and February (sometimes into March) when I’m hustling on getting final edits done. I’m too much of a gamer – I like the little achievements. I also tend to be more productive when school is in session. The virtual learning and constantly needing to be on call for my daughter as tech support has thrown a bit of a wrench into things.

What about the other months? I’m still working, but like this year’s NaNo, I might drift off to some side stuff and play around before coming back. Especially if I’m trying to work out something in the novel I’m working on.

I’ll admit that this year has been rough. That’s why I wasn’t going to kill myself over trying to get a new project finished. While Divine and Conquer (book 6) will be released next year, I don’t think I’ll have one for release for 2022. I’m going to spend some time doing behind-the-scenes work for a bit (aka boring business stuff).

Besides, the next one is a good point to take a break. It ends something of an arc I’ve been working on. And my beta readers seem content, though I got a few threats while they were working through early versions. Pretty sure the end paid off for them. Or at least I’m still alive.

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Time for NaNoWriMo #IWSG

I honestly thought this year I was going to take it easy with NaNo given how chaotic life has been. You know, just toy with other projects, not really going to push out anything brand new (I have enough backlogged in my head as it is). But no, two days before the start, an idea hit for book 7. Barely a concept. No real plot in mind – just who I wanted to deal with. And which character got to sit this one out.

Over those two days I managed to form something that had the vague shape of a story idea (not really). Not where I usually am. I’m flying blind again.

I haven’t attempted a project like this since I first drafted Twisted Magics (and that first version was horrible – it ended up getting a full rewrite). So, I’m quite apprehensive about how this is going to go. I’m not sure it’ll even turn out into a story, but I might as well see where the ride takes me.

And for the record, I had two other ideas lined up for book 7, but I couldn’t choose which one and it’s been a rough go lately. Either way, it’s nice to be back to writing again.

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