Worth a thousand words #IWSG

After some confusion, mishaps, and much cursing, I’ve regained control… of my blog. I claim that on nothing else.

I’ve been pretty quiet anyway over the past few months. Life’s been hectic to put it nicely. I’d like to think perhaps this month I can actually start getting started on some projects I’ve been putting off for a long time, but I need to return my attention to book 5 (and stop poking at 6 for now). Especially if I want to get it out on time.

February IWSG Question: Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

For the setting, yes, which of course was integral to the story. I remembered when I was getting ready to start Twice Cursed, I had the rough concept, but no location. Someone in one of my critique groups at the time would occasionally send out an email when he found something of interest. I don’t have the original image (or at least I can’t find it right now), but it sent me into looking at what would become Ghost Forest.

Actually, he sent me a few things that I eventually used. The wizard storm in Conjured Defense was another. Thanks, Ellis L. Knox!

Those two I’ve obviously finished. I’m trying to think of others, but those were the big ones. I’ve used other pictures here and there for small things: the necklaces Ketayl and Kitteren wore in Shattered Illusions, what some articles of clothing/armor would look like, etc.

Plenty small ones used in things I haven’t finished or is simply background story for me to have.

I’d love to hear of some fun inspiration other have used.

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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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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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Make it stop… #IWSG

Oh gosh, anyone who has had the unfortunate chance to listen to me lately it seems like I’m putting out a never ending sequence of fires. Or trying to keep my world from completely exploding. I’m not sure which yet.Conjured Defense eCover

Which means writing has gotten sidelined. However, thankfully I had enough in place that Conjured Defense is still on course for release.

Doesn’t mean I’m not nervous about it leaving the nest and going out into the world. Despite what my beta readers tell me. At least my cover is pretty.

IWSG Question of the Day: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I’m not sure I have a particular instance where I learned that. The more I read, the more clearly I was transported to other worlds where I could leave the troubles of life behind. I could be whoever I wanted, go on adventures with amazing people, take on various challenges and villains… The good stuff.

And you would think I would apply this concept to my own writing, but eh, I just make stuff up.

Part of that is likely because in my calls for help, I was ignored. I’d write down my requests so there was no misunderstanding, but I remained unheard.

Yet, I continued reading and writing, escaping to somewhere else.

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Keeping on Track #IWSG

Yeah, I’ve been really bad about keeping on top of certain things lately. Writing blog posts being one of them. Trying to stay on track with getting Conjured Defense ready and it feels like a thousand or so other things.

While itching to get back to book 5 (saved my next attempt at it for Camp NaNoWriMo), I’ve been working on editing older stuff. Granted, family has kept me quite busy along with my volunteer work.

Though I finished a particular project there recently and it felt really good to see it go on to the next stage. Not that there aren’t a ton more projects waiting for me.

2019-03-07 19.20.24As for family, my daughter picked up a couple new things since the beginning of the year. Her soccer club with her school I was expecting again because she enjoyed it so much last year. Then she added Cub Scouts and she’s bound and determined to earn all of the Tiger adventures, which, of course, we’re helping her to achieve (she still has to put in the work though).

She’s a little over halfway there with more in progress. Of course my husband and I got dragged in to help.

Doesn’t exactly lend me much time to devote to writing lately. I had hoped to have finished a particular editing project by now, but alas, that hasn’t happened.

Going to Massachusetts and Connecticut for over a week last month didn’t help either, but it was great to visit. Got some work done in-flight since I couldn’t sleep.

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I know I’m always insecure at this time in the process of getting a book out. I doubt it will ever really change. Got an idea for another series also, but outside of some notes at the moment, it’s not going anywhere. It’s really in the concept stage so I’m definitely not ready to share anything.

And that’s pretty much it right now.

IWSG Question of the Day: If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

The first chapter. I struggle so much with beginning a book it’s not even funny. Once I get going, I’m good for the most part.

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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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It’s #NaNoWriMo season and an #IWSG day

NaNoWriMo is going on and you know what that means…

My head is buried in whatever new novel so I’m going to be pretty quiet this month. I’m really nervous with this one because I spent through the end of October getting Conjured Defense to beta status and didn’t get to spend much time thinking about book 5.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a concept, but typically I’ll have a decent sized playlist and a few key scenes I’ve been working on in my head. Usually battle sequences.

I entered November with a pretty sad excuse for a playlist and my concept. We’ll see how this goes. I’m a notorious pantser anyway. Should be fine, right? Right?

 

IWSG Question of the Day: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

Um… I’ve been writing for so long I’m not entirely certain.

One of the things I will drive people nuts with is coming up with a variety of scenarios when the news reports something, but gives little or vague information. I don’t do this all the time and only with select people. It’s a fun exercise to come up with both logical and closing in on far-fetched scenarios. And of course everything in between.

Other than that, I tend to draw ideas from around me all the time without actively thinking about it. I never intentionally trained this, but it’s what I do. Most ideas or concepts that I keep end up in the “someday” pile. Some sneak their way in while I’m writing. It never has to be something large. Often times it’s a small moment in a larger story.

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Writing through life #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Day: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

Yes and no. Some of you know my history and I’ll try not to get too personal here.

The yes part is that I’ve been writing to make it through life in general. There have been many times that I didn’t write for extended lengths of time and let life take over. Sometimes it was due to specific events, sometimes things just got crappy. Not exactly the smartest thing I ever did at that time, but that was also a time period that I was hiding the fact that I wrote.

Now for the no. Writing used to be enough, but more recently it hasn’t. I’ve been reluctant to post about medical issues and I will continue to be for a bit longer. If you’ve caught me in person, I may speak about it, but I’m not quite ready to post it on social media.

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Publishing Routes #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Day: What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

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I am indie/self-published (whichever term you prefer). It wasn’t an easy choice to make given that everything falls on my shoulders. I did consider a traditional path, but it didn’t fit in with my goals and situation.

My main goal is to tell a story. I could lose creative control going a traditional route. I certainly would have little to no say on the cover art (though admittedly I’d have a hard time having a problem with a little Silver on the cover XD). Also, the trend for marketing seemed to fall to the writer rather than the publishing house for most and I have to manage that anyway being indie.

Does it come across as being a bit of a control freak? Probably, but at the end of the day, Shadow Phoenix Publishing is mine, my books are mine, and, most importantly, I’m getting to tell my story. I’m still navigating my way through the realm of being an indie writer and learning whatever I can while trying to help others out when possible. I have had quite a few awesome neighbors at events.

Would I consider a traditional deal if it came my way? Yes, I would certainly give it a look and re-evaluate. All paths, and I guess you could say sub-paths (because at least with indies, there can be great variation from one to the next), are viable options, but it is up to the individual to decide how they want to proceed when it comes to publishing. Consider your goals and where you hope to go in the future and try to match it to the best path you can find.

Well, that felt a bit heavy. On a side note, I announced at BCAF that the title for book 4 is Conjured Defense.

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4 books later… #IWSG

When you realize 4 books later that you’ve written your main character with a particular mental health issue. 4 books in I’m not about to change it because it is so much a part of her personality and her background does support this particular disorder.

The part I’m concerned about is that eventually this will have to be dealt with. People can live with undiagnosed disorders for decades, but things will come to a breaking point with her. Now that I am fully aware (and have done far too much research) I have to figure out what I’m going to do going forward. I’ve been adjusting my mental road map of the overarching story to be able to support this, which admittedly, hasn’t taken much altering.

And here people are probably wondering if they missed a book. No, book 4 is in editing. Fully written, but I still won’t release it until next summer the earliest.

Have you ever realized something about one of your characters long after you’ve been writing them?

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