Will wonders never cease

Hmm….I wonder what happened to my blog posts when I imported from my old WordPress site?

Yep, I’ve lost pretty much all of 2018…and I think a bit of December 2017.

I’m not going to panic yet, though. I think maybe one of the two exported files didn’t import right, so I probably just have to try, try again. I’d hate to lose 8 months’ worth of posts, but it’s nothing that’s going to make me cry or hurt me in any way. Yeah, it sucks, but I think it’s still fixable.

In other news, (and since the news that I posted on that site this morning hasn’t imported properly yet), nine more days until Abnormal‘s release date!! That’s right, I’m in the single digits now. Nine days. A little over a week. Whew! That’s starting to get nerve-wracking.

Tomorrow’s a full work day, then this weekend is Crown Tournament. I’ve been so busy with Abnormal that I haven’t had time to get excited over who our next King and Queen might be. Having spent the last year serving on the Queen’s guard, however, I’ve decided to take a break from guarding and just enjoy my next six months of play. Not that guarding isn’t fun and rewarding, but sometimes it makes an event a little less fun. I mean, you’ve got usually at least one shift of 2-3 hours where you’re following the Queen around. You have to plan your event around your shift(s), so that you’re not late. You have to keep track of where the Queen’s supposed to be when, so you can find her when your shift starts. It’s not bad, but I’d like to have a series of events where I can just glide through and do whatever I want.

I’ve got some embroidery that needs to be finished before Crown, and then some that needs to be finished before Great Western War in October (probably long before, because it will need to be attached to the garments–and this embroidery needs to be pushed up to the top of the priority pile, because it’s for Their Majesties’ garb), then some that has no *set* date but still needs to be done soonish–before October. Then there’s the research paper for Kingdom A&S that I need to fix. My novice entry was very….novice. Must edit/revise according to the notes/advice I received from judges and Laurels.

Let’s see, there’s the book release, Mace and Greatsword the next weekend, my book signing at the local bookstore the next weekend, the household camping trip for our SCA household the next weekend, then…Hang on. Oh yeah. Rincon (a Tucson annual gaming convention). Then technically a weekend “off,” but it’s a local arts mini-festival thing that our SCA barony usually participates in. Not sure about the following weekend, then the weekend after that it’s my husband’s birthday weekend, so visiting family in Phoenix, then the weekend after that it’s his birthday party, then the weekend after that is Tucson Comic Con (where I’ve got a table reserved in Artist’s Alley) and the deadline for submitting the sequel to Abnormal, then TusCon (a Tucson sci-fi convention–no table for me, but it’s a good idea to at least attend and network), then another weekend “off” so far, then Thanksgiving weekend, then…..Yeah. I’m busy lately.

It’s a good kind of busy, though. I’ll be going going going, but I’ll be going to do fun stuff. Now I’m off to see if I can get the second half of December 2017 and all of 2018 migrated.

Edit: December 2017 and January-April 2018 have been migrated. May-August 2018 I guess are lost to the ether?….

Edit to the edit: I did it! Most of the posts are now here! I have to migrate still the media I think and then I’ll be golden. 🙂

Playing God

As I work on my next novel, a sci-fi/dystopian piece, I’m in awe of authors who can create whole worlds from scratch.

With my novel, I’m skipping ahead a century or two, but I’m sticking to good ol’ Earth as my locale. I figure it’s easier to try to envision how today’s events may unfold into tomorrow’s reality than to build an entire world (or universe) from my imagination. Can I look at today’s tech and society and draw lines from now to then? Well, I sure hope so. But trying to create technology that has never existed (and may never exist) all the while weaving the threads of a society that evolved and developed such technology…it’s mind-blowing.

Creators of fantasy/high fantasy/epic fantasy also amaze me. Forget science…we’re going to make a whole new world where physics is thrown out the window and metaphysics takes over, where there are creatures never before seen and people capable of unreal feats. It baffles me.

I’ve tried worldbuilding as a teen, and even a bit as an adult. I just can’t do it. I can’t get the details, the nuances, the little bits that make it all come together.

With my current WIP, I originally tried pantsing it, but it just wasn’t working. The world wasn’t rich enough, wasn’t deep enough. As I brainstorm and make notes, it’s slowly evolving into something much thicker. Meatier. Juicier. Plots are forming, technology is springing up, and the people living in the society that created this technology are starting to go about their daily lives. They’re coming to life.

I may not be able to create an entire world or universe out of thin air…but I’m slowly becoming the god of my vision of the future.

Past, Present, Future, and Beyond

Which type of fiction is most difficult to write, I wonder? Historical fiction? It certainly has its challenges. Researching for accuracy while trying to put your own unique spin on things. Trying to keep the nitpickers from tearing apart the tiniest anachronism. Taking what was and turning it into what might have been.

But what about urban fantasy? How would modern characters react to the magical and supernatural existing side-by-side with cars and cell phones and airplanes? How would the magical and supernatural beings react to existing side-by-side with these things? Did they always exist together? Were they recently introduced?

Okay, those are both tough subjects to write. But I’m not done yet. Futuristic sci-fi and dystopia? You’d have to take current events and let them play out in your mind, marching forward into a time that has not yet happened. Do those cars and cell phones and airplanes still exist? What, if anything, has taken their place?

Yeah, yeah, that’s all well and good–but high fantasy? World-building? I don’t know if I could even attempt that. Creating an entire world, sometimes an entire universe, from scratch. Sure, you can take bits and pieces of the past and present of our reality and combine them with the realities in your head to make a quilt that blankets your stage, but where to start? What do you use and what do you toss aside? How do you stitch the pieces together into a cohesive picture?

So what’s next for me? I’ve tried my hand at urban fantasy already. I’m too lazy to do the research for historical fiction. And I’ve already said that high fantasy is beyond me … so sci-fi it is!

Onward towards Twenty

No, I’m not turning twenty years old. I’m long, long past that. No, I’m talking about 20,000 words on my manuscript. It’s slow going, but I broke 19,000 this morning and think I have a decent momentum.

The story rapidly evolved from straight sci-fi to sci-fi/dystopian, which works fine for me. It’s interesting to try to imagine what the world will be like in a century or two. I haven’t fully explored the possibilities yet, but I already have ideas brewing. What wildlife would survive the crap we humans are doing to the environment today? What repercussions will our actions today have on the future environment? What cities/countries will survive the passage of time and what ones will fall?

With my first book, I kept the time frame current and used Christian mythology as a base for some of what I was writing. Now? Now I have almost total autonomy. I’m not creating a new world; I’m not up to full world-building status yet. Still, it’s envisioning the future of this world, so it’s a creation of sorts. I’m creating the future. It’s unreal.

Well, of course it’s unreal. It’s a work of fiction. But you get my point.

Back on Track (for now)

Well, thanks to the advice of an author friend of mine, I think I’m slowly getting back on track with the manuscript. It’s still slow going, but it’s picking up speed and I think I’m going to have a better time of it … for the time being.

Writing is so hard to predict. I don’t know how full-time authors do it. I would be staring at the screen for half the time. I guess it comes down to focus and practice and developing a routine, but even with my routine of writing (or trying to write) every morning before work and every weekend when I have time, I still hit blocks.

This week I have Wednesday off (which, though it’s my anniversary, should give me time to write since my husband will be at work for half the day), so my plan is to write as much as I can.

Will I reach my goal of a completed first draft by the end of the year? It’s looking less and less likely as I get more and more stuck, but I still hold out hope. Whispers of Death was going slowly at first as well, but I blew through the ending once I had a good momentum going. This book will be interesting, because I sort of wrote a scene in the sixth or seventh chapter that belongs more like 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the book. So I have to keep the scene and just write the parts in between. Which will be tricky, given the way I normally write. I like to write in order, but I hadn’t planned on the scene being as integral to the plot, and I surely hadn’t planned on it spawning a new plotline of its own.

I love it when a story takes on a life of its own–probably why I enjoy pantsing more than planning–but this one is really challenging me. Political plots and intrigue aren’t my thing, but apparently they’re the thing this book wants to have.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Thank the Gods for the “Find” feature in Word.

So, let me give you some backstory here: Every Wednesday, Twitter has a trending hashtag called #1linewed where there is a theme set and writers can post a line or two from one of their works that fits that theme. For example, today’s theme is “eyebrows.”

Dear Gods, I never realized how many times people raised their eyebrows in my current manuscript!

Being the obsessive-compulsive person that I am, I can’t just let it go until it comes time for edits and whatnot. I have to fix it now. That has been the majority of my writing this morning–taking out a multitude of eyebrow raising and finding other ways for the characters to express emotion.

It happens. Writers get their little quirks or favorite phrases and they don’t even realize until revision/edits that they’re doing it. Well, apparently I’m an eyebrow-raiser. I don’t remember doing it in my last novel, but I think I’m trying too hard to “show don’t tell.” I know there are other facial expressions/body language-type things I can use, but I guess my go-to is the eyebrows.

I suppose I should thank whoever picked today’s theme. Now I can go through and fix this before it gets out of hand, and be wary of it as I write further.

Ooh, shiny….

Yeah, I know. I should be writing. Not writing a blog, but writing-writing. Today has been one of those distraction-filled days, where Facebook and Twitter and Google Play and staring into space (and this blog, I guess) all keep me from making any progress on my work-in-progress.

Okay, so maybe I made a little progress. Regressive progress. I did some more work on strengthening my main character, but in order to do so I took out a few hundred words. Granted, the words I took out weren’t necessary anymore (and not really necessary to begin with, I found out), but it’s still a step backwards.

Maybe this weekend I’ll get more done. Or at least Saturday. Sunday I need to get back cracking at finishing up the minor final details on our cosplays. That’s another thing I keep getting distracted away from.

At least the commission art project I spent so much time on is done. It was fun, but it’s a weight off my shoulders to have it completed. One less distraction.

Tonight will be a live tweet of the 100th episode of Grimm for Talk Nerdy With Us. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve live tweeted because I’ve been caught up in stupid adulting, but I think tonight I’m going to take some time to focus on the show and getting a good live tweet done. It’ll be good practice for getting back in the swing of live tweeting, because next week I’m back on Pacific time so I can tweet alongside the people who are watching the West coast feed (so few people live tweet during the Mountain time zone! No one interacting, which makes it less fun).

Aaaaand I got distracted. Again. Well, since it’s almost time to go to work I guess I’ll leave my poor neglected WIP off to the side for a while. Until the morrow!

Potty Humor

So remember the charity anthology I have been writing for since … well, over a year? Probably not. Anywho, the whole thing is about bullying and the consequences it can have. The organizer of the charity suggested to me that we have some pieces in the anthology that had a bit of humor to them, since most–okay, practically all–of the pieces are quite dark.

Where did my deep, poetic author’s mind go to?

Potty humor. I went straight for the poop joke.

What can I say? I’m a product of my surroundings. Today’s society, at least the ‘Murican society, is full of fart jokes and general lavatory-related levity.

I don’t know if the other authors collaborating on the anthology will like my story; maybe they’ll think it’s too gross or crude. If they do, guess who’s posting the story right here on this blog? That’s right. Win-win. 😉

The Journey Continues

Things are moving right along with the new manuscript. I’m not writing as quickly as some authors might, but I’m getting a lot accomplished for my personal pace. Less than 9 months left in the year for me to finish the first draft, but I’m still optimistic that I can do it.

My protagonists are out of the city where they were being hunted by the authorities and have now reached another city where their arrival will cause something of a stir.

I’ve noticed that I could be more descriptive. I kind of lack in that department, so during revisions I will probably bump up the verbal painting until the pictures are more vibrant. I can envision my characters clearly, but will the reader be able to?

As is, probably not. But I’ll make it better. I’ll learn and adapt. I’ll create a world that people can step into to escape their own.