I’ve got a new project I’m working on – the working title is Gods of the Fallen. I’ve put about 2650 words into it this weekend but there’s a lot of worldbuilding going on in my head. I’ve got some pages full of notes on the history of the planet, the science of the planet. I like thinking about how people would deal with specific things that we could find if we did colonize other worlds. How would we deal with a planet where you either never got to see the sun or never got to see the dark – both of which we humans seem to need. I’m having some fun with the mythologies but that’s always my favorite part of world building. I make the rest up as I go. I’ll note geography and characters and all of my little checkov’s guns along the way so I can keep true and make sure all those guns go off by the end.
I do have a fun playlist for this one. It’s in two parts because I’m still building up my Pandora station for it and some of the things are so not related that I don’t think Pandora would put them together. I’ve been having fun exploring the music of it though. And I have a whole bunch of new to me rocking women to listen to and you can’t beat that.
Today was more productive than just my writing. My oldest son and I planted most of the garden, I snuggled with my poor little Alfred who has a hurt toe and is absolutely milking it. Then I went to the store and caught up with an old friend and got caught in a super downpour where I discovered that there is a slight downside to my purple hair. Playing in the rain stains my shirt a little. At least it wasn’t a good shirt.
Filed under Life, WIP, Writing
I have been listening to the same handful of songs for about a week. I know there is something in my brain that this particular list speaks to. It’s right there, just beyond my fingertips but it’s coming. The more I listen to the songs, the closer it comes. I don’t know yet exactly what it is but it feels pretty desolate and angry which feels about right for right now. I really don’t think it’s a short story. I think this is a new book brewing and I don’t think it’s related to any of the ones I’ve written before. I see big, sweeping battles amidst a barren landscape full of fire and smoke and I’m pretty sure that’s not Earth’s surface they’re fighting on.
This playlist consists of mostly Black Veil Brides with a little Godsmack, Metallica, and Sisters of Mercy thrown in for good measure. I’m looking for more in that vein right now. I’m open to suggestions if you have them, especially a female lead with a sound/feel somewhere between Otep (a little too aggressive for this project) and Myrkur (a little too ethereal for this project).
Filed under Books, WIP, Writing
I picked up a little snippet of an idea I jotted down a couple of years ago and am running with it. I see it growing up to be a short story, just this side of novelette most likely. It’s a rough length but once it’s done I can muck around with it until it’s a more saleable length. The problems I’m running into are all in the names. I do not like my placeholder names at all. It does not fit this woman at all. It does not fit her boss or her friend. I did get two names right but the rest will not work.
Sometimes names are easy. Sometimes I use a baby naming website. And then there are those other times when a regular name just isn’t going to cut it. I like to use ingredient lists for my fantasy characters. Take a syllable of this chemical and a syllable of that chemical and bang, you’ve got Tenorack (from Eldercynne Rising) and Ketryl (from a story that may never see daylight).
I suppose for this one, I’ll go back to a baby naming website since, even though it’s fantasy-ish, it is earthbound and contemporary. Have to find a name for a bad-ass government agent that doesn’t sound too happy. The name she has right now is much too happy to keep calling her.
For those playing along at home, I’m still plugging along on Crow Queen, breaking through the 5k mark today to wrap at 5144 total. This is definitely my slowest start but it’s moving along and even if I’m currently in a dragging place because I’ve got to set the foundation down somewhere, I’m happy with it. Besides, that’s what rewrites are for – eliminating the drag and pumping up the interesting and, hopefully, throwing in a dash of scary because I would really like a little scary. We’ll see.
Some projects have good sales potential and broad appeal, others, not so much. I’ve found it is most hit and miss with poetry. I’ve had a fairly decent number of poems published by various publications over the years and it’s something I write that I don’t necessarily share with everyone.
A few months ago, I got a bug under my skin about a particular project, a linked progression poetry chapbook mostly dealing with anxiety, depression, and letting go of the toxic stuff in life. I don’t know if there is much call for it but I feel like there might be, like maybe there are others who would find it interesting.
I’ve played around all day with formatting, binding options, cover options, and all that jazz. I’m probably going to offer the chapbook in a few formats but initially, it’ll be hand-stitched with a glossy cover. Release day will be soon but I want to make a fair number of copies to have on hand.
I have almost managed to get all the Christmas decorations put away. I should have everything but the dishes done today and if I don’t manage the switching of the dishes, I’ll do it tomorrow. That’s not too terrible but I do feel behind on it.
I have managed to work a bit on Demonborne on one of the last five days. I’ll make it two today hopefully but if not, then not. I need to get better at keeping track but wordcount doesn’t really work for me – especially during rewriting/editing. I suppose I’ll just consider it a win if I not only open the file but actually go through a few pages. I really need to add about 20k words minimum to the story – which is good as I tend to be sparse with description until I’m sure I’ve got the plots down. Description can always be added, if my plot doesn’t work, none of those descriptions, no matter how awesome, will matter in the least.
On to my tiny rant: oldest child is doing a poetry unit in school. He’s a Freshman in high school so I don’t know what I expected. I remember poetry units when I was in school. I remember that 90% of the poetry we went through was by people we would never hear of again and weren’t even all that good. I am picky with my poetry and I don’t keep up with it as much as I should but my kid could only name a scant handful of poets I classify as Must-Know poets and all of them were men. I admit, most of my list of Must-Know poets are male but only because that’s what I was most exposed to in my youth (I’ve added women to the list over the years as I’ve been exposed to more of them). Dead White Male Poets who were mostly from England, Scotland, and Ireland. There is so so so much more to poetry than that. Most poets that our children know are lyricists. There’s nothing wrong with lyricists but what about Tennyson or cummings or Longfellow? What about Dickinson, Walker, and Kerouac? Are spoken word poets considered lyricists?
He did a segment on spoken word just before Christmas and the kid has some skill with it. It’s raw now and needs refining but it thrills me that it’s there. I showed him some of my favorite spoken word pieces that maybe not everyone knows about and he wasn’t impressed with most of it. In part because he’s 15 and hasn’t figured out yet that women’s voices should matter to him regardless of if they’re talking about female issues and in part because he has no frame of reference for so much of it. Mid-career Rollins spoke to him some just because he’s a lonely, geeky teenage boy with some level of anger about being so. Waits confuses and interests him just on wordplay alone. My boy is teetering on the edge of his emo phase but I don’t think he’ll tip into goth like his mama did (I do so miss that phase sometimes).
It does, however, make me think more about poetry. I fell asleep last night dreaming poetry and reapers. Maybe this year I’ll go back to poetry a bit and see if the last 5 years since the last time I really wrote poetry have matured me any. Probably not but it’ll be interesting to see.
Who’s at the top of your Must-Know poets list? My favorite poet is still a dead white male poet but my list of ones that everyone should know does include a number of women.
Filed under kids, WIP, Writing
Even with all that’s going on in the land of my father’s health, I’ve managed to get a massive chunk of edits done. My massive may not be your definition of massive but situationally, I’m getting through basically a chapter a day and that’s enough for me. Things are slowly getting better on that front but I really wish we could fast forward the next however many weeks it’s going to take him to get back on his feet.
There aren’t enough hours in the day or, honestly, motivation, for me to do Nanowrimo this year and that makes me sad. The book I’m editing right now started its life as a nanowrimo novel. The novels that are already out there to be read started their lives as nano novels too. I do have books that weren’t started then but it’s just so nice to write when everyone else is writing.
Being pulled in so many directions lately has taught me a few things. First: I need to sell more books so my husband can quit his job because he is so so so much better at the household stuff than I am. Second: anyone who can meet deadlines, produce multiple books and series, take care of family and household stuff and also hold a day job is my idol. Sometimes I daydream about the sheer volume I could produce if I had a househusband… if you want to see what that volume would be, you should buy/share/review my books. We’ll consider it an experiment. How many books could Sarah write in a year if writing was her only job? It probably wouldn’t be a whole lot more than I already do if only because something shiny would catch my eye and I’d get distracted but it is my favorite daydream any way.
Now to get started on my day. I’ve got a chapter to edit, a hospital and stepmom to call, and decorations to put away. I hate undecorating my house but it must be done. Later, if all goes well, I’m taking the kids over to say hello because I think my dad needs that a lot.
There is no excuse for me not to be getting at least a few words in daily. Even if I don’t have any new ideas any time soon, I’ve got three books that need revisions and four that need writing. In a few weeks I’ll have a reason to set everything aside – when I get the first round of edits back on a book that I’ll be talking more about closer to release dates – but until then, there is no reason at all for me not to see progress every single day. Period.
It can be very easy for me to ignore my current projects for something new and shiny but I’m trying to break myself of that. Especially now that there are deadlines, contracts, and expectations involved. The odds are that it means that I won’t be able to do Nanowrimo this year because I’ll be doing the biggest chunk of edits and I’m good with that. I know I can do it. I’ve done it several times. And apparently, I’ve had some good successes with it because Guardian of the Gods, Hunter’s Crossing, and the one I’m not talking about right this second all started off as 50,000 word first drafts sputtered out in various Novembers. Two of the projects in need of revisions started that way too actually. None of them look much like their original form now and that’s for the best, but getting that first zero draft, that ugly splatter of ideas without the finer details, poetry, or grace is probably my favorite part of writing. It’s messy but it is invigorating, exhilarating, and exhausting all at once. That’s not to say the second and the beta drafts are less important but that first rush, when you know nothing about what’s going to happen, there’s something really special about it.
I did get a few words in on Soul Eater and some notes on Demonborne so I’m calling it a successful day. Tomorrow should be less busy so I should hopefully be able to get even more done!
Filed under Books, WIP, Writing
I have two novels I’m working on right now. One of them is a complete rough draft and making its way through my critique group. The other is new and I’m working through it a little differently than I usually do.
Usually, I write a zero draft and revise it in its entirety before sending it to my crit group. This one, I’m working chapter by chapter instead of the whole project at once. I’m working now on revising the second chapter so it’s ready to go to my trusty critters.
I very much dislike letting anyone read my zero drafts. They are missing so many elements at that stage. A lot of the detail work, the style and voice come after I make sure the plot is going to work. If the plot doesn’t work, it won’t matter how pretty the writing is and my goal is always looking a few steps ahead of myself at possible publication.