Posts Tagged ‘writing’

(writing/personal) Updates of all kinds

 Today is a writing day, and that’s a good thing. I need to get back to a routine before I go back to work in a month, and I need to get this book done. I’ve also done a few housekeeping things that I wanted to let people know about.

 

I’m deleting my LiveJournal account as soon as I finish importing everything over to DreamWidth. I won’t agree to a TOS that is in a language I don’t read, especially when they specifically say the English translation is NOT binding. Um, no. No thank you. I’m vg_ford on DW if you want to follow me. I’ll be posting some different things there, I think. I really loved LJ because I could do almost a stream-of-consciousness thing, and I think I’m going to use that to kind of mind dump before I write. And all my old stuff will be there, once the import finishes.

 

I’m also getting ready to update my Patreon page again. While I’m writing my next project, I’m also going to be working on the next Sapph book, starting with some journal entries from her diary. I need to make a wiki for that world as well, so I’m updating it as I go and not six books in (cough*Advent*cough). My paying Patrons will be able to see that as it develops.

 

I’m settling into life without my husband. It’s weird, and it’s hard sometimes, and sometimes I can actually forget for a little while, enough to pull my phone out to text him or call him, and then I remember and I hurt all over again. I’m trying to get through it. I hear it gets better.

 

Today is hopefully finishing Winter Storms. I need to get this book out to my editor so I can start the next one. I won’t be posting a lot about it yet, as I can’t, but I will be giving you guys updates as I can. Suffice to say, this book will be amazing.

(guest post) Cover Reveal: The Perils of Prague

 

That, my friends, is a gorgeous cover, and I really, really can’t wait for the book itself. I’ve seen snippets of it, and it’s so good, you guys. Doc Coleman is a good friend, and I’ve watched him work on this book. Here’s the important details:

Title: The Perils of Prague, The Adventures of Crackle and Bang, Book 1
Genre: Steampunk Adventure/Comedy
Release date: April 25, 2017
Formats: Kindle, and Paperback
Amazon Pre-order link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XVNW1KJ?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660
Book Description:
Victoria, the Eternal Empress, has sat the throne of the British Empire for over 150 years. Her policies have brought peace to the world by suppressing the development of “dangerous technologies”, and where that has failed, her Imperial Troops, with their lightning rifles, have swiftly brought order. But there are still those who chafe at the yoke of peace.
When an evening’s entertainment in the British Protectorate of Bohemia unexpectedly leads to the destruction of the State Opera House of Prague, the eccentricity brilliant Professor Harmonious Crackle and his beautiful colleague Miss Titania Bang must team up with the Duke of Prague’s nephew and hunt down the evil genius responsible. Can they find him and stop him before he unleashes his new technology to terrorize the city and threaten the stability of the British Empire, and the Eternal Empress herself?
In a race against an unknown menace, this intrepid trio must search high and low and discover The Perils of Prague!
Author Bio:
Doc Coleman  began his writing career in 2010 with the Nifty Tech Blog, a tech review blog that demystifies technology by highlighting some of the best consumer products available. Doc soon moved on to writing fiction, with the short story “The Gift”, and stories for the online magazine Flagship and for The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences’ podcast Tales from the Archives. His latest work is the first book of his steampunk series The Adventures of Crackle and Bang, The Perils of Prague.
Doc is a computer geek, a motorcyclist, a homebrewer, a podcaster, a writer, and voice actor. Sometimes, he even finds some time to relax, too.
You can find more about Doc in the following places:
Twitter: @scaleslea

Actually, I’ll let you judge for yourselves how good this is going to be, since Doc was kind enough to give us a snippet:

“You’re serious!” Miss Bang’s brow was creased in ire. The hint of fire blazed behind her eyes.
He blinked at her. “Of course, I’m serious. Such a joke would be in very bad taste!”
“I don’t believe anyone ever accused my great-grandfather of having good taste,” I commented ruefully.
The professor turned to me. “Your great-grandfather was actually quite a thoughtful fellow in his youth. He did throw the most excellent parties. I never did find out what made him such a misanthrope as he got older. I’d often wondered… Wait! Wait, I was going to tell you something. Something I’d just discovered.” He looked down at the wing in his hand. “Yes! That was it! You remember the birds, the clockwork birds?”
I nodded. “Yes, Professor. It was just earlier this morning.” I wondered if it was still morning.
Professor Crackle nodded vigorously. “Yes, they’re a perfect recreation of the living creature. Or at least as best as I can tell, given the damage the sample sustained. If only I could examine an intact specimen.”
Miss Bang spoke up. “You’re drifting again, Harmonious.”
“No, no, no, no! This is important. Did you get a good look at the singers? The male and female leads?”
“At the opera?” I asked. I wasn’t quite sure where he was leading.
“Yes! Did you get a good look at them?” He seemed very agitated as he leaned toward me for my answer.
“Well, Professor, I am afraid I wasn’t really concentrating on them for most of the performance. And when things livened up at the end, my attention was, well… on other things.”
“And you, Titania?” He whirled to face Miss Bang.
“Other than the final song, they seemed quite capable, although somewhat uninspired performers.” She paused in thought for a moment, touching one finger to her lips. “I’m not sure how to describe the final performance.”
“Drat. I hoped one of you got a better look. Now we shall have to find what is left of them.” The professor moved back to his workbench and put down the wing and his loupe.
“You want to go find their bodies, Professor? Isn’t that a task better left to the police?” I did not fancy the idea of sifting through the rubble for pieces of the dead performers.
He turned to me. “Their remains, yes. But their bodies, I think not.” He lifted the wing again and shook it to illustrate his point. “I think they were clockwork.”
“A clockwork man? How is that possible?” I looked to Miss Bang, but she seemed fascinated by the idea.
“But such intricate detail, Harmonious… and such a complex series of actions to perform upon the stage. They were actually singing. It wasn’t a phonograph recording. Even with the latest equipment, one can tell the difference. I’ve never heard of an automaton that could truly sing.”
“Yes!” The professor looked like a child who had been promised a new pony. “Exactly! Such perfect duplication of the living form! When I went down on the stage and examined the woman, she looked otherwise normal except for the side of her face. The flesh sagged under a weight. I think a piece detached from the underlying support structure and dragged it out of shape. I believe the same person who made these birds constructed the opera singers as well. But I need more evidence. We need to find what is left of those performers.”
“So, we’re going back to the opera house?” Miss Bang asked.
“Yes! Well, no! We’re already there. I’m sorry about the little detour, my boy, but I’m certain your uncle is going to want to see whatever evidence we can find.”
“Surely he will be worried about my disappearance? Perhaps it would be best to just drop me off first and I can explain your theory to Uncle Randolph?” Much as I would like to avoid his wrath, putting off seeing my uncle could only make things worse.
“After losing a major landmark?” Professor Crackle asked. “Don’t be ridiculous! He may be worried, but he will have hardly a moment to think on it. No, trust me, even if you went back now you wouldn’t be able to get in to see him. But if we can find something to prove it wasn’t an accident, we’ll be able to get right in to see the duke.”
“And the police, Professor?” I asked, wondering what Inspector Janecek would think about the professor’s clockwork people theory.
“Yes, we must get there before they do! The last thing we need is for them to tromp all over everything and destroy the evidence we need.” He grabbed a pair of goggles off of a bench and strode through the door. “Come along!”
“But, but that’s not what I meant!” I sputtered and hurried to catch up to Miss Bang as she swept out of the room in the professor’s wake.

Writing and news

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about story, and life, and how our choices define us lately. I suppose it’s not surprising, given everything that’s happened lately. We’re coming up on the 1 year anniversary of my mother’s death, and I knew that was going to be hard. But I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I wonder now if it would be as hard if Brian was still here with me.

 

I’ve been accepted as an author guest at ConCarolinas in June, and we will be launching Winter’s Storms there. In addition, I have a new project that I need to start outlining this month (a 2-book project that I’m very excited about). I think  the next two months are going to be finishing Storms and then churning out the outlines for the next 4 books I want to write. The 2 book secret project, the next Advent book for December, and the next Sapph book.

 

I need to keep busy. If I don’t, then I start to stew and drop into a depressive spiral and then nothing gets done. Hopefully I can avoid that as I work through the spring.

A week in review

 

Wednesdays are going to be my week in review, moving forward. It’s a good day to stop and take a look at the last week (Sunday through Saturday) and see what I’ve accomplished (or not accomplished).

 

Last week, I was sick, so this week in review is not going to be as long as some of them. I lost Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday to the ick that I’m suffering from, so there was no writing. However, I did finally figure out how to do the corner-to-corner crochet stitch, so I got three squares done for my first afghan for Hooking for the Homeless, which was good.

 

Writing-wise, I got … nothing. I wrote blog posts for the week, and that was about it. But that’s okay – sometimes you need to do that in order to recharge.

 

This week, I’ve got the following planned:

  • Pitch a book to a publishing group
  • Write blog posts for the upcoming week for both the Patreon and this blog
  • More squares for the afghan
  • Write the pitch for Well of Dreams
  • Start the outline for Well of Dreams

We’ll see how I do in a week.

Writing groups versus critique groups, and why you should have both

 

Wow, that’s a long title, but it’s a true one. I belong to both a serious writing group (where we read each other’s pieces and comment) and a creatives group (where we all just work on our own stuff and BS). I actually cherish both of them, for different reasons.

 

The critique group has really, really helped me to craft my writing. We have several published authors, and we’re all voracious readers. These guys keep me honest – I have issues with talking heads in my rough drafts, among other things, and they’ve helped talk me down from the ledge when I was ready to chuck the entire writing thing. We’ve been together for over 10 years now, and although we’ve had members come and go, the core group has remained the same. This group is valuable, because our goal is to make the story the best it is. We’ve actually lost members because we won’t sugar-coat things. This is why this group is good, because sugar-coating things doesn’t help the writer. We’re pretty honest – if it doesn’t work for us, we’ll tell you why, and it will be more than “I don’t like it.” It’s okay if you don’t like things – there are plenty of people out there who do like it. But if it’s unclear who’s talking, or your grammar is atrocious, well, you need to know that. A good critique group will point out the bad and the good, and help you make the story the best it can be. Our critique group meets once a month, for several hours, and we generally get through 2-4 pieces (depending on who brings what).

 

On the other hand, our creatives group meets once a week (mostly) at the studio or at Gibson’s, and we do all sorts of things. I’m writing this blog post during our Creatives meeting, and looking around the table, I see the following: two people stitching, one person working on audio editing, one person working on design work for a book, and two people talking about events for the SCA. There are times when we have people coloring, or reading, or coding. It’s a time dedicated to creating things. It’s valuable because it’s time to do anything, as long as it’s creative. This is a recharging of the well that I can only normally find at cons. There’s something about being with other people who are doing something they are passionate about that really gets me going.

 

And that’s why you need both. If you can find both, you’re in a very good space.

 

Are you part of a group? Tell us about it in the comments!

(goals/writing/personal) Looking towards the future

Chateau Miranda, Celles, Belgium

It’s a new year. I’ve already started to do things a little differently – set up a new theme here on the blog, and added a button at the top of the page so you can follow me on Patreon if you’d like. There will be new stuff on the Patreon coming soon, as I’m planning on writing 3 new novels this year: the first Resonant Frequencies book, the first novel-length Pendragon Casefiles book, and the next Advent story for December. In addition, I’m going to start blogging regularly, both there and here, about my writing process, being a writer while having a day job, and anything else that happens to catch my fancy.

 

The goal is to blog here on Sundays and Wednesdays, and on the Patreon blog Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Patreon blogs will be set to Patrons only, so be aware that if you want to see those, it will cost you a minimum of $1 a month. But hey, that’s not a lot, and if you do, not only will you get the blog posts, but you’ll get new stories once a week! Because on Fridays, Patrons will get the next chapter of my new book.

 

I’m not abandoning this journal, so don’t worry about that. And the December Advent story will be held here as well. But it’s time for me to start expanding and taking this writing journey a bit more seriously, and that means getting organized. In fact, some of my first blog posts might be about that.

 

What are your plans for this year? Feel free to share in the comments!

(writing/personal) Pokemon Go!

 

Yes, I’ve gotta catch them all too. It’s fun, and I need some fun in my life. Besides, it’s something hubby and I can do together. And it’s good for us. I’m Team Yellow (aka Instinct) and if you want to find me, I’m CassieHobbes.

 

I’m also recommitting to writing (again). I’ve discovered that it’s just something that I need to regularly recommit to. So I’ll be in my writing studio, and hopefully I won’t get distracted by the Pokemon wandering around outside. (It’s so hard though!)

 

I’m starting to work on the rewrite of the second Advent story, now titled Winter’s Storm. And I’m outlining the sixth (!) Advent story for this year. This year, it’s going to be pretty interactive, so keep an eye out on the blog! And we’ve got the e-book and audio book of Winter’s Secrets that are coming! So much stuff!

 

Which is, of course, why my brain is suggesting a bizarre post-apocalyptic story. *headdesk*

(writing) Ponderings

haunted-house

 

I took the first three chapters (okay, two chapters and an interlude, if you want to get picky) of Darkness Falls to my writing group yesterday, and they liked it, for the most part, but they had some interesting ideas, and I’m going to be incorporating them going forward. So not as many split chapters – I’m going to see if I can stick to one viewpoint per chapter, and add in more description. I’m not going to change the chapters that are already up here, but you’ll see that going forward.

 

I also need to start remembering to post to my blog, so I’ll be cross-posting any non-paying content both here and at the patreon page, so if you’re subscribed to the blog there, I apologize in advance. But hey, you’ll be twice as reminded, right?

 

Also, it will help me to remember to write. Because apparently I need that reminder.

 

My new plan is to have a chapter a week up. Probably posted on Sundays. Today, I’m doing some rewrites on the first three chapters, so look for Chapter 3 next Sunday on the patreon (if you are a paying member – it’s only $1 a month to see the new stories!).

 

Wednesdays are going to be Winter’s Storm rewrites, so I can get that out to my editor by September.

 

Have a good week, folks!

(blog tour) So I’m a little behind…

But in my defense, I was sick. The last week before my Remicade treatment is always rough for me, and since I’m preparing for a con and a book launch at the same time, well…yeah.

 

But the blog tour marched on without me! Monday, I was over at KT Bryski’s blog talking about music.

 

 Yesterday, I was at Gypsy Laura’s blog, talking about making time to write.

 

And today, we have the Gypsy herself, Laura Nicole, interviewing the main character of her new novella Bad Alchemy, Beatrix Stonebriar, CSI.

 

An Interview with Beatrix Stonebriar CSI

Before I started writing Stonebriar Casefiles, I needed to get to know my subject, Beatrix Stonebriar. She is a three inch tall fae who has distinguished herself as a top investigator and has earn the position of Lead Crime Scene Investigator in her local precinct.

LN: So Magicks have been part of the human world now for a few years. Do you know how the integration started.

SB: Yes, that was my fault. There was an unseasonable October snow storm a few years back. Long story short, I got very confused during said storm and thought what I now know is a flashlight was another fairy, then I got knocked out by a falling tree branch. When I woke up, a couple of humans had rescued me, but not before taking my picture and putting it on the internet.

LN: As a fairy how do you manage being in a world that is so disproportionate to your size?

SB: There’s an adjustment period for sure, but I was working with taller races for hundreds of years before that. The elves and centaurs are the tallest that I’ve worked with personally, but I have always wondered what it would be like to work with giants.

I think it is mostly about the bulk of things. Fae can actually carry more that 300 times their weight, similar to ants. Our magical abilities allow for it. But things that are flimsy like paper, are difficult to manage because they just fold under and around you and you can’t see where you are going.

LN: What about outside of work. What do you do for fun?

SB: Touring breweries is a good time. I’m a bit of a beer snob though. My friend Ehtyk of the Bard’s Rest has been brewing for ages, literally, and knows his craft. Some of his experiments can be a little dangerous, but all and all he is the best around.

Oh, and I love to watch karaoke. My roommate Liza and I go every Thursday. Sometimes she sings, she’s pretty good at it, but the rest of them are mediocre at best and it is fun to see just how bad people can get after a few drinks. But they are having a great time, so I do as well.

LN: What makes you different from the other Fae?

SB: I suppose part of it is my willingness to be among the big folk. I couldn’t grow anything worth a damn like most fae, so I found other ways to be useful. I have the gift of the gab, as they say, and can talk to any species. That ended up making me a negotiator between races, when it was needed. I’ve always loved doing puzzle and solving problems, so working in a crime lab suited me just fine.

Most fae who came with me out of the woods ended up working on farms and the like, replenishing nutrients in the soil in exchange for food and shelter. Seems like a rough gig to most, but for the fae, we don’t have currency in our society. We barter based on good and services, so getting room and board for something that comes naturally to most fae is a real deal for both sides.

##
Stonebriar Casefiles 182: Bad Alchemy can be found at http://gypsylaura.com/stonebriar/ and additional content is available for our Patreon subscribers.

Thanks to Val Griswold-Ford, our editor and friend for hosting this little chat.

See you on the other side!

(writing) Updates and a blog tour

(above image from The Daily Tea)

It’s about two and a half weeks before I leave for Balticon and ConCarolinas, and I’m starting to get a little (okay, a lot) panicky. I’m busy writing blog posts for the upcoming blog tour for Winter’s Secret, which starts on May 16th! Since that’s about a week away, I realized I should probably let you guys know where I’ll be.

 

The Winter’s Secret Blog Tour

Monday, May 16 – I’ll be at KT Bryski’s blog, talking about music and what I’m currently listening to. Considering how much music is at the heart of Winter’s Secrets, it’s a good post to start off with.

 

Thursday, May 19th – I’ll be at Laura Nicole’s blog, talking about finding time to write. She’ll be blogging here the same day, but she hasn’t disclosed about what – I’m hoping it’s some about The Stonebriar Casefiles, which is her current podcasting project!

 

Friday, May 20th – Schrodinger hijacks Necia Phoenix’s blog to answer some interview questions. (Her poor interviewer now needs therapy, really)

 

Saturday, May 21st – I’m over at Lai Zhao’s blog talking about how I ended up writing an Advent story rather than ghosts. She’ll be over here at the same time, talking about depression and creativity, I think.

 

Monday, May 23rd – I’m going to be at The Geek Girl Project, talking about growing up a geek girl with a very supportive geek family.

 

Thursday, May 26th – I’m going to be at Clara Robertson’s blog, talking about inserting science fiction and horror into a fantasy world. If you’re interested about the Gates in the Carter’s Cove world, that’s what this one will be focusing a lot on.

 

Wednesday, June 1st – Over at Sarah Wagner’s blog, you’ll finally get the story of how Molly and Schrodinger met!

 

Friday, June 3rd – I’ll be at Angela Meadon’s blog, talking about the importance of darkness, even in a light fantasy world, and how to do it. Meanwhile, she’ll be here, talking about her new book Strong Medicine.

 

Monday, June 6th – I’ll be at Katharina Bordet’s blog, talking about food and kitchen witches! (Hint: this is the Katharina and Mick from Carter’s Cove’s coffee shop!)

 

Wednesday, June 8th – I’ll be at LJ Cohen’s blog, talking about evoking emotions in writing, and how much I can’t do poetry.

 

Thursday, June 9th – I’ll be at Mitchell Plested’s blog, talking about how Carter’s Cove came to be, while he’s going to be over here, talking about his newest release!

 

Monday, June 13th – I’ll be at Connie Cockerell’s blog, talking about how my love of tea and Christmas ended up producing a minor celebrity. I’m sure Schrodinger will make an appearance!

 

Whew! That’s quite a bit of travel, and if you follow me and comment on all the blogs, you’ll be entered to win a special prize – a tin of your favorite tea from Adagio Teas, plus a tea cup from Molly’s collection!

 

Now, I’d best get to writing. I owe my Patreon folk some more Shanna.