Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

A return to (hopefully) normalacy (personal/spiritual/writing)

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, and it’s kind of thrown me for a loop, which is why I haven’t been posting. Another death (and goddess, how I hate typing those words) disrupted everything. I re-set myself a bit by doing some coifs to help out a friend and sent them off, and by helping my niece and nephew get married, and now I’m ready to start again. As I’ve been reminded lately, time is a river – we move in one direction. Even if we feel like we’re stuck somewhere, we’re still moving. And sometimes, you just have to go with the flow until you feel like you can swim again. 

For those who may have missed it – the second Molly book is out! 

I’ve also been listening to books lately – I just finished Derelict: Marines by Paul E. Cooley, and I’m almost done with Libery Station by Terry Mixon (yes, I’m on a SF kick lately), and that’s made me realize that I need to write again. So, we’re writing. I want to have Winter Mysteries done before NaNo starts, so I can work on something new for November. And no, I really haven’t decided what. I might just work on either Blue or Abby and see which one takes off.

I’m preparing for winter, too. I know how weird that sounds, when it’s still August and technically summer, but I’m moving myself into a more pagan mindset, and since Lammas is already past (August 1), we’re in the harvest festivals. It’s fall, and we’re moving towards when the earth settles back and rests before growing again in the spring. Many pagans use Samhain (October 31) as their new year, and I’ve decided to do that as well this year. My winter will be a time of resting, of planning for the energy of the spring, of enjoying a quiet time. I’m not going to be going at the same speed I do during the summer. I’m learning to live in harmony with the seasons.

There may be more pagan-type stuff in the blog as I work through this. I know not all my readers are pagan, so I will be tagging things again in the header. If you are not interested, feel free to skip those posts. But this is something I need to discover about myself, and work through, and, well, it’s my blog. You’re welcome to come along for the ride. 

Weekly news round-up, the slightly late edition

So yeah, it’s been a few weeks. First I had an eye infection, complete with an ulcerated cornea, which meant absolutely no screen time. Then I went away to GNEW and was busy taking down my pavilion and driving home, so there was no posting. I meant to do it Monday, but I woke up with a migraine and, well. Yeah. So it’s been a while.

 

Today, I am the only one at Creatives. It’s a rainy day, and I’m enjoying the Acoustic Covers playlist on Sp0tify, and reveling in the fact that I don’t have a migraine. I have a chai latte with almond milk, an iced raspberry green tea, and, for the first time in a LONG time, a workable plot for Advent this year! YAY!

 

You guys, you have no idea how happy I am to have a plot. Carter’s Cove is easily my most popular story, but it’s HARD to write. Plot-wise, anyways. Because see, bodies and violence and save the world are easy to plot. It’s the fluffy, feel-good but not be total sugar because that’s boring stuff that is hard.

 

I’m also going back on a mini-reset this week – doing a Whole10 with my Facebook group. I need to get back on the wagon, and this seems the best way to do it. Also, I’m adding in a fitness goal, because I want to get my stamina up. Also, I need to get more Pokemon. Because, well, Pokemon won’t walk themselves.

 

Since I haven’t been posting, I’m going to just start my goals over.

 

Oh, and I finished Hope Never Dies and I have to write a review. Mini review: I loved it. I also saw Ant Man and the Wasp yesterday. Go see it – it’s fun.

 

Morning Pages: Going for all 7 days, per normal.

Non-writing goals: 1 more coif made for Her Highness for Pennsic. I want to do 2 more if I can, but the goal is 1. Also, 2+ hours on Conri’s trim. I’ve got 1 cuff for that done, and need 1 more cuff, the neckline, 2 sides, and the hem.

Writing goals: Plot out Advent this week. I can do this long-hand.

Fitness goals: Make my step goal (currently 3500 steps per day) all 7 days.

(personal/writing/updates) The Weekly World Review, 2 weeks version

Sorry that this is late, but I’m getting over an eye infection AND an eye ulcer (in the same eye), so last week my computer use was limited. I even had to take 2 days off of work, which sucked. Oh well. The eye is healing nicely, and it doesn’t hurt to look at anything with a lit screen anymore, which is the important part. Apparently Crohns’ patients are prone to eye infections, which I am just learning about. Yay, compromised immune system! When you get this kind of thing, you get not one, but TWO medications to drip into your eye. I’m a fun person at the moment. At least I don’t look like I’m detoxing from a 4-day meth bender anymore.

 

But it put a cramp in my writing, my work, and pretty much everything other than listening to audiobooks. So I start this week over again, with new goals.

 

This week is also Great Northeastern War, which I will be going to. This is my final vacation of the year (and my only camping event, sadly), so I’m making the most of it. K-J and I are going up mid-week, and taking our time. Bear and Tayla are unimpressed, especially since we’ve actually reminded the landlords that no, they really don’t get handfuls of treats at a time anymore. If you hear howls, it’s from them.

This Week’s Goals:

Morning Pages: Going for all 7 days again. Sunday to Saturday, and not let the vacation derail me. I’m almost done with my first notebook! I’ll have to dig a new one out of my stash.

Writing Goals: Taking a bit of a break to let some noodling about Advent go on in my head. I think this week, I’m going to work on Lily and Spike, and a new Sapph short story. Both can be done long hand, and I don’t need the computer.

Non-Writing Goals: Finish Rachel’s bag, and then bring the cross-stitching for Brewcie’s coat, and washcloths to knit for Kris. I also want to make myself a lunch bag, but I don’t know if that will happen this weekend. It might.

 

I hope you guys had a great 4th of July, and I’ll see you in a bit!

 

Weekly news roundup – The Remicade week in review

This week was a bit of this and that, but this seems to be a good headline for this post for the nonce.

 

My week got thrown for a bit of a loop because I needed to do some hard things this week, but I did them, and I’m very proud of myself for it. Let’s look at last week’s goals.

 

Last Week’s Goals:

 

Morning pages: Going for all seven days (Sunday to Saturday). I made it 5 days again – missed Friday with a migraine and Saturday to just bleahs. Grey days seem to be hard.

Writing goals: Writing will happen on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. I need to re-juggle a bit of the Advent calendar, but that shouldn’t take long. I want 2 days written, and some work on a Sapph or Spike short. Writing did not happen on either Wednesday or Saturday. It will happen today, so yay? Although this goes on this week’s goals technically. And I did the book review for Perils of Prague, which you should check out.

Non-writing Goals:  I need to write up Brian’s page for the EK 50 memorial wall. No more delays. Also, now that the caftan’s design has been agreed upon, I need to get the waste canvas on it and decide how I’m going to do this. I might try doing embroidery on the waste canvas and see how that works. Not sure yet. More progress here! I got Brian’s page done on Saturday, which really hit me harder than I thought it would. But it’s done, and he’ll be in the Memorial Garden at EK 50 if you are going. I also figured out how to do the embroidery for the caftan, and started most of a crochet bag. And I finished the embroidery for the first favor. I also figured out taxes for my father’s companion, and finally called about my car accident.

 

So yeah, in retrospect, I think this was a successful week, even without the writing I wanted to do. So, on to this week’s goals!

 

This Week’s Goals

Morning pages: Sunday to Saturday again. I’m building a good habit, even if I don’t hit the full week yet.

 

Writing goals: I need to restructure Molly for this year, since I’m not trying to do 2 Advents this year. That’s the goal for this week. Today (Sunday), I’m going to do some writing on Sapph, I think. Also, Wednesday, I am putting the two first Molly books into Archivos, so I can start working forward. Before I do any more writing on the Carter’s Cove series, I need to get the bible going.

 

Non-Writing goals: This week, I need to finish my market bag that I am crocheting for myself, and do the test pattern for Brewcie’s caftan. Then I need to measure the pattern, and measure out how much I need to make the actual trim.

 

These are all good goals, and doable. Keeping this weekly post going has really helped keep me on track, and I’m finding that I’m getting stuff done. So thank you, all, for putting up with me while I do this!

Don’t forget, Winter Storms is currently out! Catch up with the second adventure of Molly and Schrodinger!

As always, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi!

 

 

Life reboot: 2.0.

Life has been weird lately, and I’m not sure why.

Of course, I just got home from Balticon, and I’m sick (again – I swear Maryland is trying to kill me), so that might be part of it. I’m still glad I went -I spent a lot of time going to panels on the business of being an author, which is very different from the art of being an author, and one I’m learning about. I’d love to make a living out of being a writer, if only for the fact that I could share my writing with lots of other folks. I’ll always need a day job, sadly, because of my medical condition. And really, I like having a day job. It means I can pay my bills and not have to stress as much if I go to a con and don’t sell any books.

 

But being an author is expensive, guys. And it’s not just bandwidth for the website, or money for notebooks, or supporting my tea habit (which is not cheap, let me tell you). It’s buying swag to hand out at cons or signings. It’s gas money for conventions. It’s paying my editor, my cover artist and my book designer. It’s paying my artist friend to design the calendar. It all costs, and while I’m lucky that so far, I’ve managed to sort of break even, I really need to start doing things like marketing, which I will admit scares and intimidates me. For all that I’m not a shy person, going out and saying, “I wrote this awesome thing and you should buy it!” scares the snot out of me. Seriously. So I’m going to be very awkward as I figure this out. Consider yourselves warned.

 

I’m starting by getting my email list set up today, and I’ve got a Ko-Fi page, if you want to throw some money my way. I’m going to start blogging once a week (on Sundays, when I know I will be sitting down and have a steady internet connection, if nothing else), and those Sunday posts will include my plans for the upcoming week, and how I did on last’s week’s plans. So let’s get that started now.

 

This week, I’m working the day job on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, because Thursday, I have a colonoscopy scheduled. Yay! (not really) Because of my Crohn’s disease, I get to enjoy one of these every other year. Doesn’t that sound like a blast? Okay, that was an unfortunate turn of phrase. I blame Deadpool.

 

However, because of that, my goals for the week are modest. I’m working on the 2017 Advent story (which will start June 30, just so you know). My goal is to have 2 days written by the time next Sunday rolls around, and to set up my email newsletter. Also, I need to finish the Perils of Prague so I can give you all a review. So that’s in the list.

 

Non-writing goals: well, I’m working on a cardigan for myself, so I’d like to have that finished. For at-work projects, I just got some queen’s favors, so we’ll work on that as well. Time to work on my embroidery stitches! Goal is to have 1 favor embroidered by next Sunday.

 

We’ll see how I do. I’m setting modest goals for the most part, because I’m a great one for making unreasonable goals and then watching them fly by.

 

Also! The next Carter’s Cove book, Winter Storms, is out! I’d love some reviews, if you’ve read it! Let me know!

(cons/writing/personal) The best part about going to a con, in my opinion

Is how much it recharges your creative juices. Not just because you see people you haven’t seen in a very long time, or because you connect with fans of your work, or because you can drink at the bar. Those are all valid points of a con (yes, even drinking at the bar, because you can learn a ton of valuable information, and no one will care if you are drinking soda or sparkling water instead of booze. Seriously. And if they do care, then you’re hanging with the wrong people, so come and find me), but to me, the biggest part of being at a con is people-watching. There are amazing people at a con that you may never see anywhere else, and you may not even know them, and that’s okay, because just by walking around, they release creative energy that you as an artist can tap into. And it’s the little things:

  • Making breakfast in your room with your roommates, because you’re all poor and would rather spend money on books or other things rather than the overpriced breakfast in the hotel, and making it in your room means you can eat in your pjs without shoes.
  • Hanging out in the lobby and knitting/crocheting/writing/doing whatever, and talking about the latest movies/books/tv/anime/whatever has caught your enthusiasm.
  • Watching cosplayers go by with their eyes shining, because they are having fun, and realizing that it’s so cool to be able to dress the way you really feel comfortable/

As I sit here in the lobby at Balticon, having just finished my morning pages and deciding to work on some blog posts, I realize how lucky I am that I have the opportunity to come here. I’ve learned so much this time, and it’s only Saturday. Even though I’m a veteran writer (I guess), I can still learn, and it’s a great thing. When you stop learning, you stagnate, and then you die.

 

I’m not quite sure what I’m trying to say here – my eyes are still full of allergies, and I’m having issues seeing the computer screen – but I wanted to share that cons are amazing. Every time I come, I leave with the knowledge that I’ve grown as a writer and an artist. It never fails. So now, I’m going to go back to the con, and learn some more.

 

Go and learn something today. Anything.

(writing) Of shoes and ships and sealing wax

I’ve been on a poetry kick lately. It’s very odd, since I never considered myself a poet, but there it is – the words are coming, and I’m not going to shut off any of the creative flow that the universe chooses to gift me with. I’m getting more in touch with my spiritual side as well, and I think the poetry is helping with that.

 

I’m also prepping for Balticon, since I’ve got a bunch of panels on writing, and I want to have a handout for the panels, with some of my tried-and-true tricks for novel-writing and some great websites that I use. Anyone have a good website for writing they like? Pimp it in the comments!

(writing/organization) Getting my thoughts in line

I’m in a mood right now. There is so much swirling in my head that all I want to do is take a vacation from everything and just write. Sadly, I’m not independently wealthy, so that’s not happening. However, Balticon is coming up in two weeks, so I’ll get a bit of a break then! A working break, but that’s a good thing.

 

I’m setting up some KanbanFlow boards for myself for projects that I want to get done this year. I’m working on an anthology for Paradise City, as well as the finishing up of last year’s Advent and publishing this year’s Advent. Also, I’m working on writing Resonant Frequencies, so I’ve got a board set up for that. And I’ve got some short stories and poems (I know, weird, right?) that are kicking around in my head too, so I’m going to be working on those.

 

I want to do so many things, and I’m realizing that if I don’t make myself a schedule, I’m going to miss all the deadlines. I’ve already decided that I’m not going to try for Viable Paradise this year, as the book I want to use is not up to my standard. So I’ll keep working on it and try for next year. I’m hoping Kanban will work. If not, I’ll try something else.

 

Advent 2017 is going to be re-released and finished in July of this year (yay, Christmas in July!), so thank you all for being patient. And you don’t need to go back and re-read – I’m going to release all of it each day, just like in December. And I’ll have both Secrets AND Storms, as well as calendars, at Balticon! So cool! Let me know if you want one (I won’t be at a table, but I’ll have stuff). Also, I’ll have copies of the Complete Guide 1 and 2 – I’m out of 3!

 

Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms on my blog! And yes, this is from Tayla and Bear, who wish to inform you that I am the meanest mommy ever, because I would not give them treats before I left this morning.

(writing/poetry/stuff) All the things swirling in my head, like blood in fog

I’m writing again. I’m also starting to venture slowly into poetry, which is weird, because I never thought of myself as a poet. But Amber introduced me to Rupi Kuhr, and I am in love with words again. She is amazing and wonderful and I highly recommend her to all people. Even if you think you don’t like poetry. This, to me, is more thoughts in motion than anything else.

 

I’m also working on books. I’m getting myself back into Advent, and will be re-releasing last year’s unfinished story in July, along with the ending. So this year you get two Advents! Because Molly and Schrodinger will be back in December as well. I’m also releasing Winter Storms, the second book in the Carter’s Cove series, this year. So much Molly! My mother’s smiling, I know she is.

 

I’m working on a few other things too. I’ve got an odd short story that I’m working on finishing up, about ghost helpers and the little shop they run. And I’ve finally started to work on Resonant Frequencies, which I’m hoping to submit to Viable Paradise in a month. If I don’t get it to the shape I want it to by the deadline, I’ll continue to work on it and go for next year. This year is the year of me doing things to push myself. Reconnect with myself.

 

I’m also still playing with Shanna and Talia but that’s kind of on hold. I’m trying to get my world bibles in order (using Archivos, which is amazing and you should all look into it) and so I’m doing more of worldbuilding than anything else. She will be getting her story. I promise. Just not right now. Both of them. And Faerytale Princess as well. I have so many stories, guys. So very many stories.

 

OH! And I’m going to be doing some book reviews too on here! First up, once I finish it, is Perils of Prague by Doc Coleman. Steampunky goodness. I can’t wait. Yes, I will be doing others, but I’m not sure what ones yet.

 

Finally, I’m starting to do The Artist’s Way again. I’ve decided that I’m not going to be online after 9 pm ET most nights, so I can keep my sleep habits healthy. My evenings are going to be spent writing by hand, since that’s something that feels comfortable to me.  More as I come up with it.

(con/writing life) RavenCon, privilege, and why I think going is a good thing

I spent this past weekend in Williamsburg, VA, attending RavenCon. It’s one of my favorite cons and I love going back there. Cons always recharge my batteries. I’ve got BaltiCon coming up Memorial Day weekend, and then I might not do another con until fall. Or next year, for that matter.

 

Cons are expensive, especially if you are a writer who isn’t JK Rowling or Stephen King status. You pay for your own hotel (unless you are the Guest of Honor, and I’m not at that stage in my career yet), your own travel, and your own food. You usually get comped in for the con itself, but that’s about it. If you’re a published author, you’re usually bringing books, and maybe something for the freebie table, or ribbons, or other swag, and you pay for all of that. It’s not something to do lightly.

 

And yet, if you have the option to go, even just as an attendee, I highly recommend it, and here’s why: you get to hang with your tribe. This is a group of people who are interested in many of the things that you are, who understand things like “My characters won’t talk to me,” or “I need to write and there’s this thing called work that won’t let me,” or “What, doesn’t everyone stay up until 3 am researching black holes for two sentences in a novel?” (I hear you, I hear you, and yes, they do, if they’re writers.) Cons let you come together and hang out and brainstorm and talk shop and, for the most part, they’re awesome. There are downsides, of course. There are people who seem to delight in being superior to anyone who isn’t published by one of the Big 5 publishers, and people who are downright creepy about everything. You find that in any group of people. This is where I find, for the most part, that cons are different.

 

Before I go further, I’m a cis white female, and I’m middle-aged, and not the typical “sexy geek girl” that the jerks seem to prefer to creep on, so I’ve got some more privilege than some of the folks who attend cons. In some ways, that’s why I feel safer going to cons, because I fell in with people who have my back, and I know it. I’ve tried over the years to extend my privilege by letting my friends know that I’m a safe person to go with, and I will absolutely back anyone up if they come over and say, “Hey, I’m feeling uncomfortable because of this guy/girl and can I hang out with you?” Come on over. I’m the one with blue hair, a stuffed cat, a tea cup holster and probably knitting or embroidering. I don’t care if I don’t know you. I’ll pretend we’ve been friends forever. Also, if you need someone to back you up while you tell the creep to go away, I can be backup too. I look soft, but I fight dirty if need be. And if you just need a hug, a cup of tea, or to snuggle with Schrodinger while you calm down, I’m here for that too.

 

This got longer than I meant, and it veered in a direction I wasn’t expecting, but that too is part of the con experience.