Category Archives: Writing Updates

Happy August!

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And blessed Lughnasadh to my pagan pals!

Just a quick update on the writing front. I hit and passed my CampNaNo goal! Yay! I finished early with just over 7,800 but added to it after validation and finalized a smidge over 8k. Not too shabby, eh?

Today I’m working on an honest-to-goodness outline for the VC collection. My brain likes order and wants to have a finite plan: Eight parts representing the Wheel of the Year. Totally doable. Each part broken down to eight chapters (repping the sabbats), with eight scenes per chapter. Again, doable.

Here’s where I’m stuck.

My opening story – Yule (pre-Christmas-ish), featuring Niall and Adara – begins roughly around Mabon (beginning of Fall), but it needs to start around mid-December. It doesn’t flow the way my brain sets up the whole collection. Major clash between order and historical fact over here. So, I’m having trouble reconciling the two pieces. This is what I get for working on one collection for nearly 4 years, and not having any sort of outline beyond the Wheel of the Year and character sets.

Camp, take 3

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So as of today, I met and exceeded a couple of writing goals for this month. 

I “won” CampNaNo although I haven’t validated it, yet. 

I participated in Full Moon Madness, 5k Weekend and New Moon Challenge sponsored by WriYe – the 3 biggest writing challenges in the community. And I met the goals. The full WriYe year goal is 75k words. Guess what. I actually hit the monthly minimum. 

Did I combine all smaller challenges to count toward the monthly goal? Um, yeah. I’m a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them.

It’s amazing what one can accomplish in 3 days off!

Camp NaNo Change

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Last week I said I was working part 3 of the VC story set. Well, I changed my mind. And here’s why..

The whole goal of creating the VC set around the Wheel of the Year – pagan sabbats – was to highlight each “holiday”. We’ve just passed Ostara and Beltane is around the corner. It makes more sense to write about an upcoming event, than it does to right about the past one. At least, it does to me.

Today and tomorrow, between appointments and housework, I’ll gather research, outlines and the Beltane story already in the works. The outlines will be reworked to reflect a more cohesive timeline. It is a generational collection, after all. By the time I close my eyes tomorrow night, I should have a solid foundation for the entire set.

Who knows…I may get rolling on part 5 – Midsummer. 

Putting ‘The Plan’ in Motion

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So each year I set a writing goal for myself and have rarely met it. This year is a different story…

While I have several projects in the works, only one will come out in December. My plan is to finish, edit and publish Viktic Crossing. It probably won’t be called that when its done, though. Hell, it will likely go through several titles before I choose one. 

Im still using the prompts from A Writer’s Book of Days to write little snippets of the story. Eight generations of story. A family lineage stemming from a chance encounter between Viking raider and Celtic priestess. Its next level Vikings shit. And it will be awesome. 

The Keeper of the Bayou story will probably end up being a major flash forward piece of that. We’ll see. The potential is there and it could lead to more in between generational stories. That way the family could be traced back about 900 years. 

As side note: I’m doing WriYe’s 31 Days of Original Characters challenge. It’s neat. Create an original character every day in January. But, because we have lives, there are tiers. I opted for 12 characters based on the number of days off I have from work. So far I’m at 8, and will finish with more than 12 (doing them at work, too….shhh).

Anyone doing a writing challenge this month? Share in comments.

A Mini Writing Retreat for One, Please

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We’ve all heard about writing retreats. They’re usually hosted on a sprawling ranch or at some seaside resort,  and attended by large group of people.

Not your scene? Yeah, mine, either.

Enter the Solo Writing Retreat.

For me, joining – and staying with – a writing group is a bit daunting. I want to do it, but at the same time I don’t dare to really let myself fully participate. Basically, how I feel about joining the local Pagan group applies, here, too. Funny enough, I got the idea for the solo writing retreat from a book called The Magickal Retreat, the author whom I forget and am currently too lazy to look up.

I adapted a shorter format, roughly 4h, from the book to work for my writing. And you know what?

It friggin’ worked. Really well.

I grabbed the first draft and all notes – including brainstorming – of “Rising” and sat down for nearly 4h. Accompanying me was the entire office supply aisle from Wal-Mart. And the cat. She thought she was helping.

So today I did what I should have right along: made progress on the project. Of course, I discovered it needs almost a total gut job. Or at least a damn thorough remodeling.

Note to self: Take photos next time.

Because there will be a next time. Today felt good.

I behaved like an actual writer.

To Write or Not to Write

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Hi. I know it’s been awhile since you saw me. Lots has been going on. Highlights: long work stretch, illness and lack of motivation.

Now to the writing update…

I haven’t been writing like I’m supposed to/should. I’ve been really bad about keeping self-imposed deadlines. And, I hate it. Bottom line, it’s no one thing that’s preventing me from writing. It’s all on me, and Iv’e accepted that truth.

My healing journal had been neglected for 2 weeks. That was caught up today. I did a balance wheel and happy cloud thing (both courtesy of Mallika Chopra). My spirit book didn’t even get looked at in April..Today, May’s correspondences were recorded. I added some small drawings, too.

As for fiction writing…nope. I did write down some ideas last month, though. I’m fleshing out one or two for development. I’m sorta editing Rising. It needs new content to fill some gaps. It’s that or rip a bunch of stuff out and knock it down to around 10k words, maybe less. Short stories I can handle. These long-winded explorations into the human soul are not my forte.

The only thing I’ve actually been able to stay on top of so far this month is the WriYe Tumblr. I’m accountable to the WriYe goddesses if I don’t.

Lesson learned this month: I can only write when the mood hits. I can’t just sit down and write for the hell of writing, and I’m learning to deal with it.

It’s Monday…and My Day Off

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I’ve showered, just started the dryer for laundry load #2 and am about half done the reading list for today. I’ve cleaned Kallie’s box. I made the bed. I updated my spirit book and caught up on my healing journal.

What haven’t I done?

Write.

I need to write. I also need to do about 30 other things. I need to write. 

need to write.

I could (read: should) work on Rising or VC or the Bayou project. There are other story ideas I could flesh out and see if they’re worth anything. Shit, even research would be a step in the right direction. The saying “Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today” is flashing across my eyes like a Times Square jumbotron. My answer: I have two more days off before going back to work.

No, you are 2 weeks behind in publishing Rising, which isn’t even close to being finished. You still need a blurb, cover art, decide on pricing and work out a special. You need to start getting readers interested in it enough that they want to buy it when it comes out.

I look at my list of things to do. Writing is at the top of the list, in ink and highlighted. There’s also dishes, vacuuming, clean out the fridge…

Fiiiiiiiine…Writing it is.

The Ghost of Writing Past

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March was a dry month, creatively.

Here’s what actually got done: healing journal, Druid studies, about 80% of Rising edited. 

Bottom line: I made the time, but didn’t get my planned writing done, and it’s nobody’s fault but my own.

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The plan for April: Get. Shit. Done. Tomorrow is Full Moon Madness over at WriYe – I’m in. WriDay is on the 14th – I have that day off. It’s CampNaNo round 1. I’ve set a goal of 10k and have a new story idea to work on, but I also have content to add to the other projects hanging out in stasis mode. This content is imperative…italics, bold, underline, asterisks. Imperative. It has to get done.

I almost feel like this is my last chance to really make a go at writing.

And I hate it.

Editing Central, and Other Writing Tidbits

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Happy Wednesday, darlings.

So, here’s the gist with writing…I’m editing Rising as we speak. It is EdMo, after all, right? This poor project has been in the works for about 2-1/2 years and is in need of some serious love.

Somewhere along the line, I thought changing up the PoV would be fun. No. And, apparently I dabbled with tense. It’s a hideous combo of first-person-current and third-person-past. Yeah, I don’t know, either. The worst part is these aren’t abrupt changes. Like, I didn’t decide halfway through to have it third-person-past. No, no. It’s every other scene and/or chapter. Clearly, step 1 has been cleaning up that mess.

Which leads me to basically a whole dynamic switch. Not the relationship between main characters, but how the story develops. It’s been a few months since I last looked at Rising so there’s been revelations about motive, means, back story leaks, etc.

I also need to write the blurb, format and get cover art. And I need to do it in 20 days. Well, 19. Less, if you consider that most of this is getting done on my days off.

Here’s the other thing. When I first decided to write, this project was my first idea and outline. I’ve learned a lot since then and I’m hoping to bring that knowledge to the table when I publish on the 31st. *fingers crossed*

I’m also in research mode with VC. Again. Or, still. It’s difficult to write a multi-generational fantasy set in forever ago times when it’s based on the Wheel of the Year. Eight stories, each with their own underlying theme, coming together in a flawless collection. My ideas for this keep changing, which sucks. For example, I just had the idea it could be a giant prologue to the Bayou Project – which is also sorta multi-generational fantasy. They’re each their own thing, of course, but I’m kinda diggin’ the theme. I just need to nail down the plans for this, because it’s going live on December 1.

Thankfully, there’s 2 rounds of CampNaNo and NaNoWriMo to look forward to!

For now, though…one thing at a time.

Mostly.

Writing Past and Future

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February was a roller coaster and my writing suffered greatly. This month, now that I’m in the swing with work and have a somewhat stable schedule, will be much different.

For example, March is NaNoEdMo. Or, National Novel Editing Month. Similar to NaNoWriMo, EdMo has a target – 50 hours of editing in 31 days. Fortuitous timing, I must say, because at the end of the month I plan to publish Rising. It still needs some work and cover art, but I set this particular goal almost 6 months ago and I will see it through.

I’m trying not to plan too far ahead anymore. It will only drive me nuts if I don’t make a deadline and the blow to my OCD would be devastating. Part of what makes me sane is my OCD – an admission that’s difficult to make, by the way.

Back to March…

I’m current on the healing journal I’ve been working on. Somedays I didn’t do it because I let work get in the way and don’t take my laptop to use during lunch hour. There was nothing stopping me from taking my Kindle and using the NotebooksPro app, though. Lesson learned.

Other than the healing journal and using EdMo to get Rising out the door, I have no writing plans. Well, aside from the various challenges hosted by WriYe and blogging (which I’m doing in advance on days off).

So that’s it. That’s where I am with writing. I’m hoping to have a good blurb or small excerpt ready to share about mid-month.

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂