Posts Tagged ‘daily update’

(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.

Day 1, again

Day: 1
#100daysofwords
Starting Count: 2989
Ending Count: 3380
New Words: 391

Opening Line:
Sapph filled him in quickly. “So if we take her words at face value, there’s no reason for this place to be haunted,” she finished. “But I can feel the Ghostwind here, a lot stronger than if there were no ghosts.”

Closing Line:
“How do you know?” Sapph said, following his gaze. The main room they were in had a large oak card catalogue and three desks, each of which had a typewriting and a stack of books on them. There was a microfiche machine in one corner. And on the air was the scent of old paper and the faintest trace of mold.

Darling:
The building they were in now was not the building she and Scottie had entered. It was smaller, and Sapph could see water damage creeping down the walls. It lay like old mold over everything: almost decorative, not interfering with the books she could see in the old bookcases, but definitely there. The books were large, substantial looking, but the titles were missing. She wondered what she would find if she opened one. “Do books have ghosts?”

(advent) Slight detour

Just to remind you, if you love tea as much as Molly and Schrodinger do, you can buy their favorite teas at Adagio Teas!

Molly’s Christmas Blend

Schrodinger’s Earl Grey

The Snow Queen’s Blend

For the tea lover in your life! And since it’s official that I’ll be at ConCarolinas 2016 (just got my invite today!), I can say safely that I will have tea with me there!

 

 

Ramblings

This might not be of interest to most people, as I’m using it as kind of a catchall of what’s in my head right now. My brain is responding well to 250 words a day (about to hit Day 4 in a few, and I even managed 250 last night on the tablet, because I didn’t have the energy to make it in to the studio), and that has had one very common side effect – it wants to write ALL THE WORDS, ON EVERYTHING. Which is not conducive to finishing anything. And if I don’t finish things, you guys don’t get to see it. And to be perfectly honest (and probably crass), if you guys don’t get to see it, I don’t get to sell it and make money.

 

So, brain, you and I have to have a rather firm talk. I totally want to write all the things too, but we need a schedule, and we need to follow it.  You game? Good.

 

Here are the projects we’ve talked about that need to be written:

-Summer Advent. This is non-negotiable, as we have already promised the fans this as of July 20th. So this is the first priority. And yes, this means we get to subject poor Robert and Lee to Christmas carols in June while we write it.

-Advent 2015. We need to start the outline for this, so we can write it BEFORE December. Because wouldn’t it be nice to have it all ready to go? Of course it would. And we have to do some research on this anyways, because for the first time, it’s NOT going to be in Carter’s Cove. (Yes, it will still be Molly, Drew and Schrodinger. Don’t worry. And Pavel. LOTS of Pavel.)

-Deep Waters. I need to get the next Sapph novel done, and I think the title still works. Because between Patrick, Mac and her own stubbornness, Sapph is totally in deep water. And I think the idea of what is haunting the town is perfect. If I can pull it off.

-Portrait of Abby. I really like this one, and we’ve got the first 3 chapters done. This is non-negotiable as well. It’s a nice palate cleanser from Sapph.

-Treaty of Betrayal. This one is all plotted! Now I just have to write it. Hmm, maybe this one should be pitched too.

-Faery-Tale Princess. Again, I need to write it. It’s going to be fun. Mundane executive, thrust into a fantasy kingdom to save them all. Somehow. With magic she doesn’t believe in.

 

Stuff to be polished and edited:

-Winter’s Secret goes to the editor in August. I’m very excited about this! Goal is publication in December, for Christmas.

 

Stuff that is still in the idea/outline phase, to be slated in later:

-Elen. This is an intriguing idea, but I don’t know quite what the story is yet. I have the world, but it has flaws, and I’m not sure who the antagonist is. This needs to marinate (this is the world amnesia story).

-Phases of the Moon. I need to come up with a pitch packet for this one, so I can see if anyone’s interested in it.  Also, a pitch packet will force me to write out the outline and the story idea. This one involves the Goddess of the Moon split into four different souls, and Sun Spiders. Very cool imagery.

-The Heart of the Universe. Another pitch idea. Space opera, involving space galleons (think SpellJammer), intergalactic civil war, and pirates, all looking for the Heart of the Universe. Because whoever gets it, rules everything. Except I think there’s more going on, and I have to figure out what.

-Raindrops. This is a one-shot (really!) but I feel like I need to write it. Twin sisters, one a mage, the other a diplomat, and they’re on the run, trying to figure out how to kill the evil usurper and free the rightful king from the dungeon. High fantasy.

-Plague Mirrors. This is a dystopia that I kind of want to noodle with some more. What if it wasn’t man who killed man – but Plague herself? And how would you defeat her, if she could travel through mirrors to find you? What kills Plague? This is a fantasy dystopia idea, but I need to flesh it out (no pun intended).

-Rose. I might combine this one with Plague Mirrors, or not. I love the idea of True Souls, and I need to figure out how to incorporate them.

-Midsummerland. I have it mostly plotted, but it’s not working, so I need to figure out why. This is the fae/human book, with all sorts of weirdness.

 

This post might get added to, as I think of things. Good thing I have a lot of ideas. I’d hate to run out.

 

(personal/writing/depression) It’s been a long winter.

snowpocalypse.jpg

I know, it’s still a long way until spring, but seriously, I feel like I’m trapped in George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones world.  Between the depression and the SAD and the god-awful snow (seriously, there’s been like 60 inches of snow in the past month!), I feel like I’m smothered in cotton.  So what have I done?

 

Retreated.

 

I have totally been sleeping when I haven’t been at work, and eating all the foods that aren’t good for me (darn it, gluten!  Why are you in all my comfort foods?) and not writing.  Well, not really writing.  I did get some words in February, but I didn’t finish Secrets, and I haven’t finished the first draft of Deep Waters, both of which I wanted to do.  I haven’t lost any weight.  I didn’t make it to the gym.

 

But that’s in the past.  And I can’t change the past.

 

What I can do is focus on the future.  The days are getting longer (finally), and spring is coming.  I now have trackers that work for my sneakers, and I have my FitBit, which lets me see how I’m doing.  I have a new desk at work, and dammit, I have a birthday coming up.  I don’t want to be unhealthy any more.

 

I know it’s hard.  I know I’ll backslide sometimes (movie theatre popcorn, you are my kryptonite!), but going forward, I’m going to keep myself accountable here on the blog, on Twitter (I’m @vg_ford there), and on Facebook.  I’ve got modest goals for March:

1. 250 words a day

Not just on the blog, but on actual stories.  I need to keep writing every day.

 

2. 8 hours of sleep

Seriously.  I’m sleeping more, so that on the weekends I don’t spend until noon in bed.  And I’m going to try and stick to my weekday sleep schedule on the weekends, so I don’t screw everything up.  End result: if you see me online after 11 pm and I’m not out somewhere, tell me to go to bed!

 

3. 6 lbs gone

That’s the physical goal.  6 lbs will bring me under 300 lbs, and that’s my first goal.  I can do this.  No more soda, no more gluten, no more crap.  It’s going to be interesting, as my gut is not happy with raw veggies and fruits right now, but I’m going to try some smoothies, and more steamed/cooked veggies.  And real food, not processed food.  And water.  And tea.  (Glorious tea)

 

So there’s that.  I’m off now, to get my 250 words (at least), and then over to Mom and Dad’s for a roast lamb dinner.  I’ll see you all tomorrow!

(personal/writing) Blowing off the winter dust

You know, it’s been a LONG winter.  Maybe not GRRM long, but longer than I wanted.  Much longer than I wanted.

 

But it’s finally warm out.  The snow is gone and there is music in the morning when I go out.  I’m still adjusting to my work schedule, but it’s getting easier.  I’m not fighting it as much.  Now, of course, I have allergies, but I’ll take allergies over snow pants, seriously.

 

I’m still sort of on crutches, although I’m not using them very much.  I go back to the doctor’s on the 30th, and hopefully they’ll finally give me the go-ahead to stop using them fully.  I’m walking on May 5 in a charity walk, for MS research, and I will be damned if I do it on crutches!  But hey, if I have to, I have to.

 

Writing is going good – I’m working on the rough draft for Deep Waters, the 2nd Pendragon Casefiles novella.  The first one, Into Thin Air, is on schedule to be released at Balticon, and I’m hoping to have copies soon for reviewers.  Want to review it?   Drop me a line at val at vg-ford.com and let me know!

 

I’m also working on FaeryTale Princess again.  I’m really liking this story, and my writer’s group is intrigued.  Also, at this point, the hero is kind of an ass.  Which is fun to write.  Don’t worry, he won’t always be.  It’s sort of a romance, after all!

 

I’ll have cards for my proofreading business and swag from Lake Knight Paranormal (the ghost hunting group in Pendragon) at Balticon.  I might even read from the first novella!

 

So yeah, life is looking up.  I find it usually does in the spring.  I just wish it wouldn’t take so darn long to get here.

(writing) Not only an update, but musings

I’m still writing.  As of today, I’ll have written for 138 days in a row.  I haven’t missed a day, not even through Harper’s Retreat, or the ick that I was sick with, or anything else.  I still wrote, even if it was only 250 words

 

I still wrote.  I showed up to the page.

 

I was thinking about this last night – showing up, I mean.  I stayed late at work, because I was at the end of the first Inspector Lynley mystery (yes, I’m addicted to British murder mysteries.  No, I have no idea [MOM] why.) and I had to read to the end.  By the time I was done, it was 8:45 pm.

 

I had fully intended to go to the gym to swim, but the gym was a good 10 minutes away, and the pool was only open until 9:30 pm.  Was it really worth it?  I almost didn’t go.

 

But then I realized that I needed to show up.  I’d made that commitment, and I wasn’t going to just blow it off, the way I had before.  So I went to the gym.  By the time I got changed and made it into the pool, I only had about 10 minutes to swim.

 

I swam for that full ten minutes, folks.  I showed up to the page, because even though I only had ten minutes, it was more than I would have done if I’d gone home.

 

That’s why now, when people tell me “I have no time to write,” what I realize they’re saying is “I don’t have time to write 1000 words, or four chapters, or whatever.”  250 words takes me about 15 minutes.  Everyone has 15 minutes, 20 minutes.  So what if you only get 100 words, or 50 words.  It’s more words than you had before, right?

 

Okay, enough lecturing.  On to the updates.

 

I’m still working on Into Thin Air – I’m in the final chapter (not counting the epilogue).  This chapter is the one that needs the most work, because I wussed out the ending, to be perfectly honest, and my crit group called me on it.  I am still planning on having this done by the end of September, and then I can start working on the third Advent story.  That’s my Nano project.

 

Also, I’m going to be doing two events in October!  I’ll be in Gardner, Mass on October 2nd, at the library, doing a NaNo Prep lecture at 7 pm.  And the weekend of October 10th, I’ll be at CapClave in DC.  I can’t wait!

NaNoWriMo update

I am still doing NaNo, and I’m going to be doing daily updates from now on.  Today, my total stands at 8363 words – I’m about 14k behind, but I’m trying to catch up.  I refuse to give up!

I also received my edits for Last Rites this past weekend, so I have to start working on those.  But I really, really need to get my NaNo done, as it’s the Advent Story I’m going to begin posting on December 1st.  Yes, Schrodinger and Molly are coming back for another season!

Also, I’ve been asked about their first adventure.  I think I will be collecting the first Advent Story into ebook form (and possibly offering it on Lulu as well, for those who want a hard copy) and putting it up for sale for a small amount.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to get it done for December 1st, but I’ll try to have it available before Christmas.

So many things are happening right now.  I’m overwhelmed, and excited, and exhausted.  It’s a great time.

Sunday morning, and life is good.

It IS good!

I’m thinking I should start inserting some graphics or something into these posts, so they aren’t all text, but sadly, I’m a writer, not a graphic designer.  We’ll see.

I got 1k written last night!  I never get 1k written in a night!  I’m so excited!  Today’s goal is a NaNo day: 1667.  (actually, it’s more than that, it’s the 5k I need to finish the story to turn in, but I’m trying for NaNo days now, so I can be in the groove for November)  I’m really enjoying the book The Busy Writer’s One-Hour Plot by Marg McAlister – it took me more than an hour (because I didn’t set a timer – bad me!) but I got the plot hammered out for Convoy and then wrote the first 1k in about 90 minutes.  For a slow writer like me, that’s amazing!  I’m so using this system from now on!

Once I finish Convoy and turn it in, I have to start working on prepping for NaNo.  The NaNo project this year is the 2nd Advent story (yay, more Schrodinger!) and I have to get it plotted out very soon, because I have to get the outline to the other folks who are helping me!  Yes, there will be OTHER STORIES!!!  (Sorry for the exclamation points.  I’m very excited this morning!)

Now, though, I have finished my morning pages, so it’s time to take the laptop into the kitchen and start catching up on podcasts while I make breakfast, do dishes, clean up and cook for the week.

 

(personal/to-do/writing) Sunday is a recharge day.

Yesterday, I will admit, I did very little.  I fed my parents’ cats.  I wrote about 690 words on Forgotten.  I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo.  And I watched the Red Sox lose again. *sigh*  But today, I have more I want to do.

Before we get into that, though, I wanted to let you know two things. I have a guest post up over at Mitchell Plested’s blog about the books that inspired me (Irreverent Muse). And Spells and Swashbucklers is out in both Kindle and paperback formats! *It will be coming to other e-formats soon. So go and get a copy!

I need to get ready for the week, and everything I have to do.  Balticon is a little over 3 weeks away and I’m SO not ready.  But we aren’t prepping for Balticon today.

So this post, really, is just a to-do list for myself.

– Daily Pages

– Make bbq sauce

– Dinner tonight: bbq chicken, sweet potato fries, biscuits

– Marinate pork chops for Tuesday

– Finish listening to digital recorder

– Return digital recorder to Dianne (pushed to tomorrow)

– Buy bucket for cat food

– Fold laundry and put it away

– Clean out dish drainer

– Clean out sink

– Food plan for tomorrow

– Make lunch/dinner for tomorrow

– Send beta letter

– 500 words on Forgotten Summary

– Email

Damn, I’d better get moving!