Tag Archives: #MilWordy

9-7-20

eBay sales: teddy bear, diamond painting drills

craft projects completed: 0

#MilWordy update: 22,874 words

So, I’ve not been nearly as productive as I would have liked over the past three days. Normally, I have at least 40K to 50K written by the end of the weekend on the project. Then, it’s usually only about 3 more chapters before the first draft is completed.

This year? Not so much. I’m going to be lucky to hit 20K.

Still, I’ve solved some of the problems with the story. And I’ve realized that I’m creating a universe that will have different main characters in the books which inhabit it. Each character will be connected back to the first book in some fashion. But it won’t necessarily be the main characters who meet.

For example, the PI who shows up in Cassandra’s book, will definitely show up in Troy’s book, and Bryce may end up showing up in her book. So, I did mention that I’ve got four books in the universe already? And that each of them is technically a stand alone? I’m going to treat it like Jules Verne treated his stories. They all happen in the same universe and may reference each other, even if you don’t have to read each one individually.

And I’m sure that more characters and adventures will spin off of Cassandra’s journey. She’s probably got a good two or three books just dealing with her stories. But Troy may only have one where he’s the MC, but he’ll keep showing up in other people’s books. Heck, Cassandra and Troy will be the ones who can spark off many an adventure while dealing with the estate. So, there’s that. And there’s no reason why I can’t travel back and forth in time in this universe. So maybe Aunt Romey gets a book of her own. I’m not sure yet. I’m also not sure of all the magic systems in the universe, but they’re not all powerful. And sometimes you can’t be sure it’s really magic. Sometimes, it’s just luck or fate or really hard work. Other times it’s pretty blatant, but small magic. Fixing a tire or making a nightlight. Things which can be done without magic. Maybe it’s even easier to do without magic.

Or maybe the amount of magic is growing and the sorts of things it can do will grow organically.

Or maybe not.

Lots of things are unresolved, but I’m a lot closer to seeing inside the snowglobe than I was at the beginning of the thing.

Also — Cassandra does not have a musical soundtrack. This is incredibly bizarre for me as almost everything I have ever written has a soundtrack I work from. The only thing I’ve found it just… people talking in the background. For example – a gaming stream or a clothing haul. She is unlike any other character I’ve worked with. So, I find that fascinating as well as frustrating. In fact, I think she might just prefer silence or the sound of the sea. It’s disconcerting.

Well, back to the book. And honestly, it’ll be a relief tomorrow when I can drift between projects for a little bit as opposed to my self-imposed challenge rules.

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9-6-20

eBay sales: cookie cutter, jewelry box, stuffed dog, 1 pair shoes

craft projects completed: 0

#Milwordy update: 18,188 words

I’m working a lot more slowly than I usually do on these weekends. I don’t if that’s just because my wrists and fingers have been angry at me for trying to do 45 minute sprints, or if the story has been fighting me more, or if I’m more distracted by outside things. It’s probably some of each of those. It’s gotten to the point where I can only do about 500 words before my hands need the break. I was sprinting regularly at 1000 words just yesterday though, so it’s probably more being distracted.

On the plus side, I’ve decided that both of the projects I’m working on right now are in the same universe. They share the same city and there may be some characters which show up in both books. The main characters will probably not meet. At least not in these books. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll revisit this universe. That means that yes, magic does exist in this universe, but that doesn’t mean that people know about it. Or that Cassandra will fall over anything more than her namesake and the one item her great-aunt left her. At least not now. If we continue following her into other adventures, then yes. Heck, I’m beginning to wonder if Cassandra’s story would be better as a serial. Well, we’ll see. That might work. Or even one main book and then some short stories. We may end up following her bother in a different book. I think his could be a very quiet book though. I know what he’s looking for now and I’d like to see him find it.

Oddly enough, there was almost a sex scene in this book which is something I rarely actually indulge in when writing books. I might go back and put it in. Not just for words, but because I do think it would show of the relationship with her husband the best. He’s feeling very cardboard cutout to me right now. I do need to look into their relationship more and give him some more motivations and relationships.

I did not give the hotel a chance for breakfast this morning. Instead, I just ordered in IHOP. That worked out for the best I think. Lunch was a bag of chips because I’m meeting a friend for dinner. I need to get some more chips or something for tomorrow. I don’t want to order from 7-11. It’s just… it feels so wrong. And the hotel does not have the best snackbar available.

Oddly enough, I can’t find the right music for Cassandra. I tried alternative, but that didn’t work. I tried neo-pagan folk, but that hasn’t worked. Right now, I’m listening to video gamers talking because that gives me something to fill that part of my brain. It’s almost time to dial up “Uno the Movie” because I’m getting frustrated with her inability to communicate a proper sound. Maybe she’ll work best if I pull up the Atmospheric mixer and put on some sea sounds or marketplace sounds. That might be what’s wrong.

All that being said, I’m not sure that all of this story is actually going to be in the final book. We’ll have to see how it betas after I edit it. I have realized that I have once again forgotten to make the space around my characters actually feel like something. I am great with dialog, but I often forget that other people can’t actually see the setting the way I am when my characters are talking. I might go back and add that in tonight, just to give it a tighter feel of space.

Part of the problem is that Cassandra doesn’t care about the space around her. She’s basically a minimalist at heart. She lives in a space and has a lot of color around her, but she’s not attentive to the space the way Bryce is. Bryce is very involved with his surroundings because his obsessive thoughts do include cleanliness and visual organization. (Bryce is the MC for the other project I’m working on.)

Huh. So that perspective is a thing. Cassandra will basically be doing light establishing shots and Bryce does more in depth analysis of his surroundings. Okay. I can work with that. It will give the two projects their own feel and the characters their own voices. Amazing the number of random realizations I’ve come to today.

Anyway, the quest continues. Just keep on swimming.

 

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9-5-20

eBay sales: 1 book

craft projects completed: 0

#Milwordy update: 11152 words

So, the new project is going. It’s a little slower than I’m used to. I don’t know if that’s just because my fingers aren’t warmed up or that I’ve not cut myself off completely from the net. I will say that it’s a lot harder for me to do 45 minute sprints than it used to be. My wrists don’t like doing it anymore. So, it looks as though I’m going to have to hit the Pomodoro method now. 25 minutes on 5 minutes off.

The story has new characters now and I’ve got at least one plot point or sub-plot that’s going to develop. And there’s something my main character doesn’t remember which has affected who she is now as opposed to who she was. Something in her inheritance is going to make that show up for her. Maybe. Or maybe her sweetheart of a husband. Or the new fortune teller who just showed up?

I ended up needing a nap today. Not sure if I just woke up badly or if I didn’t get enough caffeine this morning. That being said, I attempted to get breakfast from the hotel downstairs — but the line. Sweet baby bippy. I couldn’t stand in that line. I literally got out of line, went to my room, ordered food through grubhub, went back downstairs to meet the driver and the people who were two in front of me were just getting their food. It was SLOW. I am going to give them another try tomorrow, but I’m just not sure that I’m going to be willing to wait on it.

Cheesecake Factory for dinner tonight. I ended up having to go to the store for pick up because none of the delivery options worked. It was… an adventure. One that I am not wanted to repeat, no matter how tasty the food is.

I guess that’s about it. I’m not doing much beyond sitting and writing this weekend, so there’s not much to talk about.

See you on the flip-side.

Podcast recommendation: Cabinet of Curiosities

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9-4-20

eBay sales: Vintage GS badge

Craft Projects completed: None

#MilWordy update: 7448 (before this blog post)

I’m in a hotel and prepping for my 3-Day writing adventure. This means that I expect my word count to go insane in the next three days. I will have minimal social contact (ie: the food delivery person and a drop in from a friend every other day.) I also expect my sleeping pattern to be hosed for the next two days, but then again, I do try to keep a really solid schedule of 8 plus hours of writing each day.

Right now, I’m debating between working on the new project I started about a week ago and actually going all in with Cassandra and Jack. I have a feeling Cassie and Jack is going to win that competition though. Just because I can’t help but make myself work on a brand new project these weekends. And the other one will keep.

Cassandra is in for an interesting inheritance from her great-aunt who was a known adventuress back in the day and never married. They’d always connected over tattoos and sub-cultural exploration, so when she died, there was no question who in the family would get her legacy. Jack has always been up for an adventure and has been getting bored not being in the field or working on his business, so when the opportunity to explore the house and the collection comes up, he is more than willing to follow Cassie into the midst of it. Yes, I think this is the winner. I’ll work on the other project when I need a break from these two.

And no, this is not a kissing book. Or a romance. Established partners. No love interest beyond that relationship, but that could change at some point. Though, then it would be a threesome not an adultery story. Just more love, not less.

The biggest question I have right now is whether this is going to be an urban fantasy story or a regular world story. Magic is just so much more interesting. But I have to see what it’s like in the middle of the story. Either it will be high adventure like Indy or it will be a magical adventure. Decisions, decisions. I mean at least I didn’t end up writing an entire business plan for a school for this story. (Another project that will hopefully be finished this year.)

Overall my goal for the next year is to finish off as many of the open projects which are lurking on my desktop by the end of it. I will always be starting something new, of course, but the hope is to polish off a whole bunch of projects, get them out of my brain, and make room for the new projects to grow. And a bunch of those projects will be fandom based and may never see the light of day. But a lot of them aren’t. They’re the series I’ve gotten plotted out for 8 books or the universe which will be able to follow different people who all tie back to the same school. It’s the murder mystery that’s half-plotted in my Schivner and based on tarot cards.

Well, it’s time to get writing. Talk to you tomorrow.

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9-2-20

eBay Sales: 0

Craft Projects completed: 0

To do list item completed: will signed and notarized

#MilWordy update: 2506 words (before this blog post)

The spam-bots on my blog have been providing succulent care and puppy training advice recently. As well as telling me how Audible works. Personally, I appreciate that someone’s decided to copy and paste something more interesting than the generic “I liked dis” sort of sentence. It shows dedication to the craft of spamming. I do hope they get paid by the submission rather than the click though. I *knock on wood* have only gotten two comments which slithered through the spam net. Barring that — I hope they truly are a bot and not bothered by the repetition and boredom inherent in spamming every single post on a blog.

Progress on the newest novel is going well. Our MC is a young male with anxiety, OCD, and a newly discovered ability to make spells work. His best friend/ assumed SO is an Korean-American female artist. His siblings are legion. His friends far flung. And his mother is possible a Disney villain, but he doesn’t believe it. He’s got to find a new place to live, save his sister’s life, and keep on the good side of the gangs in his part of town and the cops.

Progress on book 2 of Stars and Shadows is… about half-way completed. Maybe I’ll get it done during Nano. And Progress on Book 2 of Queen Bee is two chapters in. (I might focus on that one for this weekend.)

Short story works in progress are still legion.

My prompts list is almost done. So I have emailed my favorite partner-in-crime for a new list.

Finally got my will signed, notarized, and properly stored away. That’s been lingering on my to do list like an evil stench. Next big project is to fix the couch foot. We need to lift the couch up, glue the foot on and then set it back down. On the plus side — I got the couch for a dollar in an auction and a dude there got it home for me in his pick-up truck. He refused payment, but I did get his card and pass it on to folks. It’s the least I could do.

Oh, and install the toilet paper holder/ support handle in the upstairs bathroom for my parentals WC. We installed the one in the powder room and it’s working well.

I have a stack of books from the library sitting on my printer. This was my attempt to keep myself from going on a book buying binge. It’s helped. But then audible went and made all of the originals available for listening to members. Part of me hates myself for giving any money to Jeff Bezos, but the books are still books. And audiobooks make my drives to work bearable when I can’t listen to one more word from a podcast or music. I get about two good hours a day during my commute to listen to things. Especially because I’ve worked my way up to 2.5x speed on the sound. I haven’t listened to a podcast at normal speed in more than a year. However, I do listen to Neil Gaiman at regular speed. I enjoy his voice too much. I will probably end up doing the same with Stephen Fry. Don’t know, I’m not through my current book yet and I’ve got 6K books to run through and make decisions on.

My poor nook is wondering where I am, I’m sure. I’ve been reading physical books and listening to audiobooks. I only tend to use my nook when I’m on a plane. Even then, I take a nice old-fashioned paperback with me.

That reminds me: Minor rant to publishers: If you start a series with a particular book size and cover style — PLEASE continue that until the series is done. I have the Rivers of London series. All of them are paperbacks except the latest one. My shelf looks weird. Also, the Hater books by David Moody. Two distinct hardbacks with white covers and blood red lettering. The next book… beige paperback. NOOOO. My shelf. *whines*.

Signing off now. Talk to you tomorrow. Maybe I’ll have something interesting to rant on then.

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Writing From Prompts: #12 Glacier

“You seriously expect me to spend $1200 on water from a glacier. Was it harvested by specially trained penguins?” Tom asked. He raised his brows at his wife.

“Don’t be silly. It’s obviously trained polar bears. Penguins are too short.” Marianne looked over the top of her menu. She winked. “Still, it would be an experience. I’ve never had water that cost more than four dollars.”

“Because paying more than four dollars for water is insane.”

The waiter approached their table. “Compliments of the chef,” he said and placed two drinks on the table. “Earl Grey foam on a sweet tea with mango syrup.” It was basically a shot glass of sweet tea. But it was new and different.

“Thank you.” Marianne smiled up at the young man in the black suit and white gloves. The gloves were entirely impractical for delivering food, but maybe he only did drinks. “What do you recommend here?”

“Personally, I’m fond of the duck series, but you can’t go wrong with the grey stuff plate either. It’s delicious.” He gave her a sly grin.

Marianne nodded once. “I’ll have the grey stuff platter with the shrimp.”

“I’ll try the duck. And one glass of house red for me. Darling?”

“I’ll have an unsweetened ice tea with tonic.”

“Right away.” The waiter gave them an almost bow before disappearing behind a door into the kitchen and bar area.

“The house red? Isn’t that fifty dollars a glass?”

“It’s cheaper than the glacier water. And as long as I’m already paying three hundred dollars a person, I might as well splurge on a good glass of wine.”

Marianne laughed. She raised her amuse buche. “To splurges.”

“To splurges.” They clinked glasses and drank it down.

“I am totally figuring out how to make this.”

“I think I still have the foam making thing in the pantry,” Tom replied. He licked his lips to catch the last of the foam. It really was a lovely dry and sweet combination.

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9-1-20

eBay sales: model, book, mixer paddles

Bonanza sale: Doll

Craft projects completed: 0

#Milwordy Update: (747 words) Just getting started, but I’ve seduced another one of my friends (JM Beal) to do it as well. Again, as a plus all the words count, even those from this blog. I’m hoping that will lend some consistency to my blogging.

Called out from work today, not because of the kick-off of this, but just because I’m tired. I’ve been working (overtime) for the past two-weeks. Long days and short nights to get everyone back to work — safely — so that they can be paid once the CARES act runs out. That means seat by seat analysis. That means squinting at measurements and talking to department heads to move people so that they don’t have to wear a mask the entire day while they’re sitting at their desks. Will this be a perfect solution? At this point, I don’t have it in me to care anymore. I’m burned out on the project and desperately needed the break.

In fact, a lot of things have burned out of me lately: sadness, rage, motivation. That’s one of the reasons I took on what look like an enormous and impossible number for the next year. I want to rediscover my passion and my love for writing and I need a reason to give it some space. External accountability is part of that. By stating that I am doing this challenge, I get the opportunity to make it a priority. I don’t like to disappoint people. That means I don’t always make room for the things I enjoy. I have always wanted to be a writer, yet I pushed down the possibility of being a professional writer, and just wrote around the edges and the crumbs of time I had available. That means that I only really devoted myself to writing two times a year: my 3-day challenge in September, and Nanowrimo in November. (I highly recommend both challenges actually. They at least get you most of the way through the book.) This challenge means that I’m putting two hours of my day into a bucket for writing. At least.

Nanowrimo (50,000 words in November) has been a god-send. I’ve made friends and learned that I can reach what seems to be improbable goals. It also means that I’m not alone in the madness.

The 3 Day novel (write a complete novel over 3 days on the Labor Day weekend. It’s associated with a publisher, but I stopped actually submitting there years ago.) challenge however, is different. I give myself three full days of deep dive, no holds barred writing. I immerse myself completely in another world and come out with at least… 90% of the final book. All three of my published novels were written during the three day challenge. This of course, doesn’t mean that I don’t edit them after that, but the main framework? the characters? all of that is written.

I’ve also signed up for some workshops and lectures on writing. Just to keep the theme for the year. I think challenging myself to learn about writing, actually writing, and making myself complete things, is my goal for the year. Maybe some of those pieces will just be little meditations like this. Some of them may try to address social injustices. Some of them may be the coursework for a company I’m building with a friend. All of that is possible. And the restriction and the freedom to work in that box makes my creativity focus down for a little bit.

Some other challenges you might want to try to stretch your creative wings:

The ABC challenge: Start your story with a letter. Then the next sentence starts with the next letter. Unless they’re really looking for it, most people won’t notice what you’re doing. Very few people actually do this challenge these days, though it used to be a stable back in the earlier years of online fandoms. *winks*

The 25 word challenge: Write a cohesive story in 25 words

The random word prompt: Get a friend to write down 30 random words. Take a word each day and write a story about it. This is what leads to my writing from prompts stories. I have a list a friend wrote for me about a three years ago that I’m working off of. I might have to request another one.

Well, that’s it for today. Unless I suddenly decide to write from a prompt this evening and it stays short.

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Throwing my Hat in the Ring #MilWordy

What in the heck is #MilWordy? It’s a challenge / goal of writing One Million Words in the next year.

It kicks off September 1st. I’m committing to it. Or committing to being committed.

Below is Kate Cavanaugh to explain more. (Not me! To my friend group she’d be Other-Other-Kate.) If you’re interested in writing and writing challenges and writing styles and writing habits, I highly recommend her channel. She’s very open about her process/progress and everything else.

On the plus side — all words count: fiction, non-fiction, blogs, articles, editing words, non-publishable, publishable. All of it. For me it averages out to about 2800 words per day. That’s about 2 hours of work a day. Some days will be a little more, some a little less, but Nano should be a breeze this year. LOL.

Wish me focus and determination and grit.

And hey, maybe you want to give it a shot too. What’s the worst that could happen? You end up with a few hundred thousand words you wouldn’t have written before. This is a shoot for the stars, land on the moon sort of deal.

Come on.

Do it.

You know you want to.

 

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