Posts Tagged ‘sekrit project’

(personal/writing/advent) Deep thoughts

Two posts in one week. Wow, I might actually be getting into a groove or something.


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about writing lately. And streaks. And self-care. Shocking, I know, but bear with me, because it all ties in together. I’m still picking at the Advent story, but I’m paused as I need to figure out some plot things that were just thrown up at me. There weren’t supposed to be more people in this story, and now I need to figure out where they are going. This means stopping writing and actually doing some plotting.


I’ve got two books that are now in my calendar to proof-read, but I’ve got room in February and March right now, as well as further out. I’m also starting to plot what else I need to do this year. I’ll be at RavenCon and Balticon with new books (yay, Winter Storms is finally coming out!) and calendars. I have to get stickers done too.


In addition to rewriting Molly’s 3rd book (and no, I don’t have a title yet) for publication for December 2018, I need to decide my next book as well. I believe I’m going back to Resonant Frequencies, and there will probably be a ghost story or two as well. The Sapph universe isn’t working the way I want it to, so I’m going to try again. With brand-new characters, and a different kind of feel. There’s too much magic leaking into Sapph and while she’s fun, it’s a little bit of a Mary Sue. So I need to try something else.


I also have a project that I can’t talk a lot about here yet (but I will be working on it, and it’s cool! I promise!). In addition, I have some friends with some neat books coming out, and I’m thinking about inviting them to come on over and tell you all about it.


Last year was about surviving. This year, I’m looking to step back into the sunlight and try to thrive.

Starting the new project officially

Started the novel over again today, mostly by cutting some words I’d put in before. The net gain for the day is 303. Slowly but surely. Time to get to the grocery store and the pharmacy before I head home and work on some kumihimo and reading and getting ready for work tomorrow.

Word Meter for Blue

676 / 50000

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.

(personal/writing) Writing in the wind


I’m currently sitting in a comfy chair in an infusion room at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, with an IV in my arm, waiting for my next Remicade infusion. It’s raining outside, and as I’m on the 6th floor, I have a lovely view of the parking lot, and the rain. (Hey, at least it’s not snow. I don’t have to shovel rain.) Days like this, when I’m due for my medication and it’s grey, and I’ve had a very busy weekend, I’m usually NOT wanting to do anything. I want to just curl up in my chair and let the Benadryl take me away into dreams, but I’m still working on deadline, so no sleeping today.

I’ve also been re-reading The Artist’s Way – I am feeling…not blocked, precisely, but more unsatisfied. Like I know there is more I could be doing, but I’m stuck in the “don’t wanna” phase. I want to have this book done. I want to have the next book done. I just don’t want to write it.

At the same time, I don’t want to not write. I love writing. I love it when the words flow, and I love it when they don’t, and every page is a struggle, but it’s there and it’s blood and you can see it. It’s a tension within me, and the more days I go without writing, the more I hurt. And it’s a mental hurt, that slowly twists within me to a physical hurt. And I didn’t realize WHY, until I looked at The Artist’s Way and realized I haven’t been doing morning pages or artist dates or really anything other than slogging through life and work and BLEAH, as Snoopy would say. Not the way I want to live my life.

Part of this was what happened this weekend. Birka was this weekend, and it was a mixture of sad and happy things. The sad was going by the empty chair outside the merchant hall that someone had written “Uncle Olaf’s Chair” on, since Baron Olaf, who started the event and was almost always there, passed away suddenly in December. The happy was two-fold – I was feeling well enough that I didn’t need to “recover” so much from running around for two days straight, and I was inducted into the Order of the Silver Crescent, a service order in the Kingdom. My whole family showed up! It was awesome! And best of all, my mom passed along her medallion to me. I will cherish it.

But it showed me that life is fleeting, and that you can’t make excuses, or one day, there won’t be any more time. So morning pages are going to start again. I’m going to plan an artist’s date for myself, even if it’s something as simple as going to the library and browsing the books, or going to Gibson’s and coloring in one of my new coloring books by myself for an hour. It’s time to start refilling the well.

I start editing a new piece for a friend this week too, which I am SUPER excited about. And I’m putting together a website for another favorite project that I’ll be able to link to soon, I hope. I need to finish the Winter’s Secrets rewrite, and then it’s on to working on launching a Patreon project. I have plans, and I don’t intend to not work on them.

(writing) Ephiphanies

So, I had a headache earlier today.  Well, I THOUGHT I had a headache.


What I actually had was a novel trying to burst through my forehead, sort of like Athena coming through Zeus’ brain.  Because once I started jotting notes down for this novel, the headache went away.  And then, when I got to the studio, I managed 2k in 2 hours on the first chapter.


Yes, the first chapter.  It doesn’t want an outline.  It says it doesn’t need one, and I’m afraid I might agree.  So Pendragon and Secrets have been shuffled to the side, and I have a new book.  I’m a little afraid of what might be happening, but I’m going to enjoy the ride.


This is a magical realism tale, sort of a bastard child of Carter’s Cove and the Dark Horseman world.  It’s not as fluffy as Molly’s world, but it’s not as dark as Nikki’s.  I’m enjoying finding out about it.  So here is the first of many metrics, I hope.


Starting count: 0

Ending count: 2075

Beginning sentence:

“No, Reese, I’m fine, really.”

Ending sentence:

“Besides, I think we might be running low on cat food,” Abby said out loud, and chuckled at Timothy’s horrified look.  “Okay, okay, we’ll go get food!”


She wandered down the broken fieldstone path to the old stone bench that some former owner had planted under what might have once have been a well-groomed apple tree. Now, the tree was sprawling and gnarled, covered in the remains of blossoms that smelled of sweet decay and sent pale flower petals up into the air with every breeze, and it curled around the bench like a lover. The bench itself was bathed in sunlight, and sitting in the middle of it was a very large long-haired black cat that was snoring.


(writing/personal) The first blog post of the new year



Happy New Year, everyone!  Sorry I disappeared after the end of Advent – the holidays overwhelmed me, and I just couldn’t bring myself to write, never mind blog.  But I hope everyone enjoyed this year’s Advent, and I promise, it’s not the last.


For those who may not know (I know I have some new readers here), I have an incurable disease – Crohn’s Disease.  It’s stress-aggravated, among other things, and I go once every 8 weeks for an IV treatment to keep it in check.  When I’m on schedule, it’s usually pretty good.  However, this holiday season, my 8 weeks was up on Christmas Eve, when the infusion suite wasn’t open.  So basically, I’m now 2 weeks late for my treatment.  To add to it, I ran out of one of my other meds, and had to go a week before the refill prescription was sent to my pharmacy.  It was NOT a good thing.


So I retreated for a bit, surrounding myself with family and close friends, and didn’t look at my computer very much (except to play Dragon Age Origins once, and getting stuck), and to be honest, it was good.  I did THINK about writing, and how I was going to approach this year, and what I wanted to do with the next 12 months.


This year is going to be a year of writing and publishing.  I have some concrete goals, and a plan of how to accomplish it.  My work schedule has settled into a 4×10 week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, I work 10 hour days), and a lot of it is writing.  That, combined with an hour driving commute each way, means I don’t really want to look at my computer when I get home.  So I’m not going to.  I’m going to be writing on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and setting myself a goal of at least 1k each day.  That’s a minimum of 3k a week, which is fine.  I’m also going to be posting more here, but only on those days.  The other 4, I’m not worrying about writing.  If I do write, that’s awesome.  If not, that’s okay too.


It wouldn’t be a New Year’s post without goals, so here’s what I plan on accomplishing this year, writing-wise:

1. Two Advent stories.  Yes, two.  If you read this year’s Advent, you know that Molly and Drew have finally set a date – July 18, to be exact.  And well, they can’t get married without a story, can they?  So yes, readers, there will be an abbreviated Advent in July (6 days) for the wedding, plus another full Advent in December.  And I plan on having the first Advent story (now tentatively titled Winter’s Secrets) available in e-book and print in July.

2. Five more Pendragon novellas.  The response to Into Thin Air was awesome – I’m glad you guys liked it!  There was a short story in the Tales of the Tesla Ranger anthology as well, and I’m moving forward with the rest of the season.  Once all the novellas have been released as e-books, I’ll do a print omnibus edition as well.

3. A separate novel project.  Even though I’m enjoying working on self-publishing both Advent and Pendragon, I would like to sell a novel to an agent and get a big publishing house deal.  Because I would.  So I’m working on an urban fantasy take on World War 3, sort of.  Involving the United Nations, the Bright and Dark Courts, goblins, and the half-elven daughter of William Shakespeare, who’s currently working as a bartender in Manchester, NH.  As one does.  This rough draft will be done by the end of the year.


So yes, it’s going to be a busy year.  But a good year.  I’m excited.  And I’m dedicating this writing year, and all those to come, to those we lost this last year, especially PG and Nicole, because I’m going to do what I can to live not only for myself, but for them.  Life is too short, and too fragile.


Now, it’s Saturday, and I’ve got a word count to get.

(updates/personal) Yep, still here. Not dead. At least, not yet.

I hate Daylight Savings time.  Just sayin’.


Also, I can’t update my website from work.  Nor can I look at Pinterest anymore (dammit!) and I can’t read my G+ stream.  I can post from my Google Reader to my G+ stream (don’t ask, our firewall is WEIRD) and I do have my phone, so I might hop on Twitter or Facebook from work on break, but it’s not a lways on.  So please, don’t think I’m ignoring you.  I’m not – I’m just busy.


However, I’m finally starting to settle into a routine.  I’m getting ready for Balticon (yay!) – I’ll be helping run the Needleworker’s Tea there again, and we’ll be launching Spells and Swashbucklers – with pirates!  And rum!  I’m also doing a LOT of crocheting – lots of babies coming this spring!  It was a fertile late summer/early fall, apparently.


Finally, I’m writing.  I’ve done my daily pages for 44 days straight so far, and I’m working on several projects.  Forgotten, mostly, but some other things as well that I’m pretty stoked about.  More later, as I can.

(goals/recap) In with the new, out with the old

2012 is here.  2011 has left.  While it wasn’t as bad a year for me as it was for some of my friends, I’m not sorry to see it go.  It’s a new year, and that means a chance to look at what I’ve done in the past year, and what will be happening in the future.

Looking back at my livejournal, I see I didn’t have any goals set for 2011 (or if I did, I can’t find them).  But I did accomplish a few things:

1. Finished and turned in Last Rites (Dark Horseman #3)

2. Put together Spells and Swashbucklers (the sequel to Rum and Runestones, which is getting turned in very soon)

3. Self-published Snow (a Dark Horseman Novella) at the end of December

4. Won NaNoWriMo for the first time!

Not a bad year.  I didn’t really track my number of words, but it was pretty impressive for me.

Now, to 2012.  I have goals.  And this year, this is what I will accomplish.  First, the writing goals:

1. Finish the untitled Dark Horseman Christmas story (which may become a novella, not sure).

2. Finish and sub the first Sapph novella.

3. Write the rough draft of my Secret Project Novel.

4. Finish the six-episode arc of Tales of the Scorned Lady.

5. Write the rough draft of The Strange Disappearance of Santa Claus.

6. Write 250 words of fiction every day.

7. Morning pages (over at every day.

Then, the health goals:

1. I will exercise 30 minutes every day, whether it be on the Wii or at the gym.  No excuses.

2. I will modify my lifestyle and the food I eat, without giving up all the foods I love.

3. I will walk/run to Rivendell by the end of the year.

Finally, the life goals:

1. I will declutter my house by December 31st, 2012.

2. I will get my finances under control by June 30th, 2012.

3. I will enjoy life more in 2012.

The last one is really important to me.  I don’t want to be just another drone – I want to live life, even if I live it on a budget.  Walks in the park cost nothing.  Reading in the sunshine costs nothing.  Sitting by a stream with a fishing pole and breathing in clean air costs nothing (don’t need a license if you don’t have hooks on your line!).

I’ll be keeping track of my books read over at Goodreads (I’m captain_hobbes over there, if you want to add me), and I’ve got a spiffy new word count spreadsheet (thank you, DC!).  No word count goals this year.  I just want to see what I can do.

I write slowly, but I will write.  Because that’s what I do.

(metrics) Day 27, and more secrets

Secret project, that is. I’m having a lot of fun with it, and blew nearly through the first part tonight in about an hour. 30 minutes of writing, and over 1k! I really do well when I have the right mindset.

And that’s what this 365 days of writing is all about, the right mindset. Going in and getting the writing done, and enjoying it.

Starting Count: 357
Ending Count: 1695
Net Gain: +1338
Current NaNo count: 25952
Current Word YTD count: 27571
Val’s Tea Fund: $6

Starting line:
“Oh?” Molly put the bowl in front of him and then made her own breakfast. “Then for who? Lily?”

Ending line:
Margie Barrett stood in the doorway to the kitchen, a delighted smile on her face as she listened to the music. “I haven’t heard this version in years,” she said, coming in and accepting the cup of tea Molly poured for her. “Where did you get it?”

Losing herself in the familiar rhythms of baking, Molly hummed along with Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, plaiting the red and white dough into twists and shaping them into candy canes. Only when the first batch of cookies was in the ovens and she had a steaming mug of chocolate spice tea in her hand did she look at the envelope again.