What writing? #IWSG

Hate to say it, but I’ve gotten nothing done in the past month. And then I see on Facebook from NaNoWriMo about announcing your novel. It’s September, right?

Wait, it’s September already?

Time has little meaning these days as I struggle to adjust to new ways of doing things (which continues to change faster than I can keep up), trying to find time and energy to get back to writing. I’ve managed to squeeze in some role-play time, but that has been few and far between. Often with interruptions.

Though seeing that post by NaNoWriMo hit home that I have no idea what I’m working on next. I’ve got a couple of ideas I could run with or I could attempt something new since book 6 is a good point to pause with that series.

It also points out things I should be doing with book 6 right now that I’m not prepared for yet. I’m getting to the hair pulling point with trying to find a balance with everything going on.

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A Stand Against Racism and Discrimination

I am against racism and discrimination.

Why am I making this statement? Because I know in my writing I explore these uncomfortable truths that are so prevalent in our society. I wanted people to know that the person behind the words is against racism and discrimination.

So, as Mortgaged Mortality launches, I felt it only right that I state that fact. Especially given that racism in particular is much more forward in this book than my others released to this point.

I will be completely honest here in the fact that I strongly considered pulling this book given the current world climate (the first draft was written in November 2018). However, writing only sunshine and rainbows won’t change that racism and discrimination exist. It won’t push toward change.

Why have I not made a statement before now? Because I wanted to create a small bubble that people can come to and breathe for a moment, maybe smile or laugh, before returning to the fight. I will endeavor to continue maintaining that small bubble.

It’s a secret #IWSG

Before I get into this month’s question, I know a lot of people are wondering when the ebook for Mortgaged Mortality will be available for preorder. I promise I’m working on it. With the delays, I’m trying to slim down some of the things I do to regain some of that time which is holding getting the ebook up until the final version is ready. I’ll be posting when it is available.

It’ll be soon! Things are moving well. There won’t be a delay on release. The only thing that will be off-schedule will likely be me having physical copies on hand.

IWSG Question of the Month: Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

A secret, huh? I’m pretty open so I’m not sure what someone wouldn’t know.

I guess a fun one is that I keep a playlist for each project. While that part is known, the fun part is sometimes I toss something onto the playlist that I just want to listen to and has nothing to do with the story.

The entertaining part is my alpha reader usually gets subjected to me listening to said playlist over and over. He tries to match each song to where he thinks it should be in the story. Those one or two songs drives him nuts.

If there is something you would like to know, I’ll try to answer the comments. I’m pretty bad about reading them on the run and then forgetting I need to come back and reply.

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RP Fun #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Month: Let’s play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

Um… I’m going to pass on this one. Mostly because I’m drawing a blank.

However, let’s talk about role-playing and character generation. This conversation mostly comes up when I talk with other gamers at events. Have I played any of my characters at the table? Yes, but probably not who you think.

Retanei, Lockonis, Savanas, (younger) Lindale, Sparky (he was after being written in a book)… I need to check and see who else. There are others who are in books that are not yet published. And for those wondering why all my tavern-type places have the initials WD, it’s a nod to my first D&D group who suffered through me developing the first three on the list.

I find role-playing them helpful, even if it is in a completely different setting (Mystara does not equal Terra), to get a feel for their personalities and skill sets. The dice and whatever else we’re using brings in that chaos factor.

Granted, if it’s the Deck of Many Things, most of my characters have an aversion to it.

Do I find out everything about them this way? Nope. I have one coming up in book 6 who surprised me with a secret she had been keeping.

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Stranger than Fiction #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Month: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story?

You know, I’ve been asked this before and my mind always goes blank. I know I’ve researched some strange things, but nothing stands out as the “ultimate strange thing.”

Though, while not strange, the most headache inducing was trying to understand financial terms for a story. This one hasn’t been released yet so I can’t really talk about it, but yeah… that hurt.

Maybe the wizard storm? GAH! I’m bad at trying to find something that stands out in among all of the research I have done.

Anyone else got anything interesting that they’ve researched?

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Write where? #IWSG

ISWG Question of the Day: If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

Um… yeah, I have no idea. It would be somewhere that I could view nature, but there’s not one specific thing I’m looking for. I’m also not opposed to cityscapes either.

I would prefer not to be staring at the side of my neighbor’s house though. Sometimes they stare back.

Despite being in the middle of the city, I am pretty fortunate that I’ll catch quail running through my front yard or a deer hanging out across the street. This is among the other common wildlife.

In short, no, there’s no one place I want to write. If I could visit the location that I’m basing a particular story off of, that would be cool. Maybe someday I will. At least the places I’ve used as a basis for locations.

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Getting personal #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Day: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

I had planned on opening this up with a quote, but damned if I can find it now. I thought I knew who said it, but…

The short version is I write characters that are both aspects of me as I am and those of who I wish I was.

Except for Silver. I don’t think I have anything in common with him.

Joking aside, Ketayl is the closest to me as she’s my oldest character. She’s gone through a couple of decades of changes and growing to become her own character until she found her way into the series I’m working on.

Does she have some of my traits? Yes. Some deeper ones than I’m prepared to discuss here. Those became part of her character before I even knew what they were.

To give a more direct answer, we’re both introverts. I know those who have only met me at events might not realize it as I end up shifting into a different mode for that time period. If you catch me out and about, it’s another story.

Since this is something I know intimately, the trait easily made it into Ketayl. And in one regard, I hope there are people out there who can connect with her because of it and see that it isn’t a limitation, but just one part of who she is.

My own traits often make it into other characters as well. One thing here, another there. And as I stated above, it could be an active trait or maybe one I wish I had. I’d spend way too long trying to figure out who has what.

It makes one wonder who else writes their traits into their characters. Also if readers connect with characters because they connect with the traits portrayed.

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Genre Switching #IWSG

Anyone worried about that title?

IWSG Question of the Day: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

At the moment, with so much focus on the series I’m writing, science fantasy is my home. And thinking about other projects I have in progress or in planning… yeah, I seem to like it a lot. I tried my hand at cyberpunk once because it’s always had a special place in my heart to read, but it still ended up with fantasy elements (it was also really bad so it’ll never see the light of day).

It doesn’t mean I don’t read outside of it. I still love my sci-fi and other fantasy sub genres. Though paranormal romance can confuse me depending on how it’s written. I think that has something to do with romance itself being this weird entity that I occasionally poke with a stick.

Every time I open up the Kindle app, I’m greeted with a number of choices spanning many genres. What I gravitate toward first tends to be if they’re local or if I know them over the genre. And let’s not talk about the piles of physical books…

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Outside of writing #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Day: Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

Um…well, you see, that’s a slightly complex question with a simple answer: I don’t have one thing  I regularly stick to. I enjoy a variety of crafts, though have given up on anything to do with yarn. I wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really for me.

I want to get back to drawing and perhaps get into some digital work. Then there’s 3D modeling that I haven’t done in forever. I’d say time is against me, but really, I’m scared of failure. And it’s something that holds true in my writing. The fact I get anything out is somewhat impressive.

But getting back… Um, I’ve started doing some publication layouts and while that’s writing-related, I’m not the one generating the content. I really enjoy seeing things come together.

I’m hoping I can get back to a couple of things soon and create some additional items to accompany my writing. Pretty vague response, but I don’t want to give up anything just yet.

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Boise Book Fest 2017

Boise Book Fest is this weekend! I’ll be at table 21 in room 100 CDE of the Boise Centre. Doors open at 8am for panels and people with tickets for early author signing can get into room 100 CDE at 12:30pm with general author signing opening up at 2pm. The after party starts at 7pm.

And tonight at 7pm MDT, I’ll be taking over Boise Book Fest’s Facebook page. Feel free to drop in and say hi.