Falling Into Habits and Out of Others!

Man, I have to get back into writing on this here blog more often.

I mean, I used to do it weekly, and that was fine. More than weekly would really be better, but since I struggle with even that, perhaps a bit unrealistic.

Novel 2 is starting to come back from my volunteer readers (a huge thank you to Bari, who got his responses in first, and with a lot of thoughtful, clever comments!), which means I am still on track to submit that by the end of the month. The "trick" is going to be finishing up Novel 3 by then as well, so that I can send it off to my editor to take a whack at it so that it can go out after rejections to Number 2 start to roll in. Maybe by the fall? That seems reasonable. But it has to be EARLY fall, because nobody wants to receive submissions during the winter holidays.

Anyway! Progress, of a sort.

As for today, I'm baking bread, and doing some painting, and maybe a little writing. Need about 15,000 words on Novel 3, and only a few short weeks to both write and then finish the first editorial pass myself... never enough time, my friends. Never enough time.

Finished Novel 2! Onto Number 3!

Well, unplugging for a week certainly helped.
I managed to finish editing Novel 2, and send it onward to beta readers who are working on giving it a solid once over before it goes upward to publishers and agents.

Which is lovely, since it gives me time to work on Novel 3! The majority of the work on this one is already done (50,000 words thus far, another 20,000 or so to go), so it's really just polishing off a few of the middle chapters and then doing a solid edit before sending it on to my editor.

Which reminds me, I should set aside some funding for that. Probably late Feb? I should have enough money set aside for that by then. I hope.

Anyway! Progress, a lovely thing!
Hope things are going well for all of you, of course, and I'll be back next week (hopefully with a better idea of how long it'll take me to finish Novel 3!).

Unplugging for a Week

Hello! How's it going? Been awhile, huh?
Yeah, work has been pretty insane, but it's finally kinda settled. As a result, I've taken a week off my paying work to rent a small cottage in the middle of nowhere (not hard to find in Canada... there's lots of "Middle of Nowhere"s in this country) so I can get all the editing and writing from November and December done.

Here's my (completely unrealistic) goals for the week:
Day 1 and 2: Finish editing Novel #2.
Day 3 and 4: Finish writing Novel #3 (which is 85% done)
Day 5+: Get as much writing on Novel #4 finished as I possibly can.

And that's it! Just me, my trusty little computer, and as much work as I can cram into a day.

I mean, I brought a few books ("Ancillary Justice" is the one I'm working on at the moment), but that's about it. Eat, sleep, edit and write.

Honestly, if I was paid even the most humble living salary for doing this, I'd be in heaven right now... ^_^

Anyway! I'll be back in a week to let everyone know how it goes, but I'm unplugging until then! Have a great week, all you beautiful people!

Still Writing!

Phew! That was a busy, busy winter season!

Thankfully, I've been able to save up enough money to handle the editing costs for the next couple books, which is good, and now I can get back to editing and writing!

Which is great!

So, nothing much to say today. Just wanted to let everyone know I am still working, still writing, still busy as heck! Hope everyone is having a great winter!

Quick Words

Just a few words to say that the editing continues (whee), and I reinstalled "Dragon Age Inquisition" (which, probably, was a mistake in regards to the time I don't have to play it... but heck, even people working 60+ hours a week need breaks occasionally!).

Anyway! Gotta head to bed, but I just wanted to say that I am probably going to shut down my Patreon account for the new year, considering the way Patreon is now charging patrons. It's idiotic, but what can ya do?

Anyway-anyway, that's a consideration for later. For now, hope everyone is enjoying the last month of 2017!

Crafting Worlds

So here's the thing with editing. It's a problem that I think many people have, and is by no means unique to me.

I like creating. I like taking nothing, and making something.

This doesn't just apply to writing. Sure, it's deeply satisfying to take blank paper or an empty screen and fill it with words, but it's also pretty awesome to take silence and make music, or to take white and create colour.

That's the amazing part of creation. That's the thing that gets me out of bed, that keeps me in front of the computer. I love to create.

But here's the problem: that first attempt? It always sucks. Like, always always. In art, you create something awful, you throw it out, and you try again. In music, you practice by yourself, over and over, getting it wrong over and over and over, but eventually you get it right.

In writing? You write, and then you edit. That part there is the key difference... sometimes you throw out what you wrote, but as a usual rule, you refine and modify and *adjust*, not throw out whole hog.

And that part? Gods, it's so frustrating!

Anyway. Back to work! Hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

A Diversion

While editing continues (endlessly, I suspect) I wanted to take a moment to talk about 2 other things.

Specifically, I wanted to talk about Sera and Garrus.

For context, I've been listening to "Sera Was Never" on loop for the last 20 minutes. Just so we're all on the same page.

Basically, I love these two characters. Both are from completely different franchises (Mass Effect and Dragon Age, specifically), and they are very different characters.

Sera is an elf rogue who is the head of a network of spies, assassins, and common folk standing against the nobility and their corruption. She has a dry wit, and is very sarcastic. She is also utterly endearing. The greatest gift you can give her is telling all the other members of the party that you're a couple: rather than finding it touching, she laughs at the thought of how uncomfortable it must've made the more conservative members of the team.

Garrus, on the other hand, is a Turian ex-soldier ex-cop who is a crack shot, dabbles in being a vigilante, but mostly calibrates really big guns. But, again, totally adorable. A completely confident soldier and utterly unflappable during combat, his awkward humour and wry view of the universe is refreshing, and honest.

The games are good. I mean, they're really, really good. But a big part of why they are fantastic and memorable is good writing: both Sera and Garrus are believable, despite neither being human and the games themselves being quite unbelievable (aside from hefty doses of suspension of disbelief). In fact, the games are riddled with great characters (I would argue Tali is my favourite character of all time, actually, but she's also from Mass Effect and I wouldn't be able to do her justice in the limited space/time I've allowed myself today), and it all comes down to some fantastic writing.

The kind of writing I hope one day to do... although not for games (although that's a noble thing!).

The kind of writing that I should be editing right now... back to the grindstone, my friends.  Back to the grindstone.

Arrogance

What conceit. What gall.

What pride to think that I can bring something new into the world. Something hopeful, something bright, something warm and welcoming and familiar but still unseen before.

Such arrogance.

Who am I to do this thing, to craft this future that becomes increasingly unlikely each passing day. To ignore the dark, the faded, the ragged and torn, the overwhelming and mounting evidence that we are well past the point of no return. That mankind is doomed, fated to never escape our little gravity well, to never see distant stars with naked eyes, to never have colonies on other worlds, other stars, other galactic arms, other galaxies.

Such arrogance.

And why? Why sit here, nearly penniless and frayed from working to pay for editing for books that will probably never see publication? To incorporate edits that hint that this pursuit isn't worthwhile, that I have learned nothing, that, worse, I can teach nothing, have nothing to say that should be said. Why bother?

Such arrogance.

Back to work. Those edits ain't gonna do themselves.

A Day of Rest...?

So today may be my last full day off for the rest of the holiday season.
I mean... it might not be, depending on how work goes for my colleagues and if anybody falls sick or anything like that. But it's the last day I'm assured to have off.

And so I finished the last 20 minutes of Logan, turned on the heater downstairs, and settled in to edit. The novel has to get finished, the edits are waiting, and I've been slowly working my way through them for the last few weeks (as those of you who frequent here know).

No distractions, no other obligations for right now... just editing. And of course updating this here website, of course.

So if you'll excuse me, I have about 20 chapters to re-write... still. Gods, I hate editing...

Heading into the Holidays

Ah, winter. Missed a few key moments this year (specifically, emptying the water storage outside, to make sure it doesn't freeze/break the barrels over the winter...), but overall I'm happier that the weather is getting cooler.

Ah, winter tires. Forgot to put those on as well. Blargh. I guess I can do that tomorrow.

Anyway! Another nice thing about the weather getting colder is that I get to stay home and do more editing/writing! Mostly editing these days... in fact, almost exclusively editing these days... woo... but hey, it's getting done.

So that's something.
In fact, that might be the *only* thing. I'm not a big fan of cold weather overall. Or at all, really.

Anyway! Back to work, back to work.

Chapter 1 Done... again!

So I finished the edits on the first chapter of Starconvoy EH-76.

I really need to come up with a better name for that novel. Anyway.

Edits are going well! It's weird to rewrite the first third of the book, though, and I'm a little concerned that it's starting a bit too slowly now, but that's a "When finished with this round of edits, consider again" sorta issue.

Anyway, progress! It's nice.

In other news, I finished reading the "Leviathan" series by Scott Westerfeld. Lovely, lovely books, and the artwork is a nice touch. I can't say I'm totally satisfied with the ending, but overall it was good and I really don't have any complaints about the world or story he crafted. If you haven't read it and have any interest in good YA Steampunk, I highly recommend it!

Hopefully someday somebody will talk about my work as positively... but that won't happen at least until I finish this novel! Back to it!

Happy Halloween!

Happy end-of-October, everyone! Hope your candy desires have been sufficiently fulfilled for the immediate future.

As for me, I handed out some candy to kids, but thankfully bought way more than I donated and therefore will have candy bars for weeks to come! Additionally, I spent the day editing, painting, and doing a little paid work, which was a generally positive way to spend the day.

Story is coming along well. Some heavy revision (reordering the first 4 chapters, for starters!), a lot of rewriting, but I'm really enjoying the process. Just wish I could have more time to do it... I'm working 6 days a week now and until Xmas.

Oh well! Progress, regardless.

Apparently "Tomorrow" means 8 days!

In a shocking turn of events (for nobody), I have only just now sat down to actually do the editing for the book I got back from my editor on the 16th.

Oh well! I have maple whisky, I have coffee, I have a big ol' pot of beef stew stewing in the oven, and I have nothing else I need to do for the next 5 hours or so.

Let us do this.
 

Book Editing Done!

I received "Starconvoy EH-76" back from the editor yesterday. I am going to sit down with a tall bottle of maple whisky and some ice and dig into all those changes I'm going to have to do...

... tomorrow.

Excited/terrified/excited!

Ah, Physical Illness. The Worst.

Just a quick note to say I've been a bit under the weather, which is always a bit rough.

I'm on the mend, though, and that's important.

Anyway! Hopefully healthy soon, hope everyone else is doing great!

20,000 Words Down, 80,000 or So to Go!

Making pretty good progress on my second Tintian novel (I've changed the title of it... although it's still just a working title...), which is nice. I just got back from a short trip up to Tobermory, which was lovely, and let me get another 4,000 words written, bringing me just shy of 20,000.

I really have to step up the pace, though. I want to be hovering in the 100,000 word range by the end of the month, and that's going to require about 15,000/week, more or less. But it can, and will, be done.

Oh yes. It will be done... (I hope!).

5 Hours to Write! Luxury!

Today I have about 5 contiguous hours to write. I intend to make the most of it (I'm hoping about 6k words, or so!).

That is all! No more news, just writing!

A Good, Exhausting Week

On Tuesday, I sat down and crunched some numbers.
The basic numbers I crunched are these: I write about 5,000 words in a given day. However, I only write twice a week (Tuesdays and Sundays, if anyone is keeping score). This amounts to approximately 10,000 words a week.

Realistically, this is closer to 9,000, but let's go with 10,000 to make the math easy.

A first draft of one of my novels is usually around 100k words before the first series of cuts (which usually brings it down to around 70-80k). 100k words for the novel, 10k words a week... 10 weeks to write a novel at this pace. Usually, that's all fine and well.

However.

The reason I only write Tuesdays and Sundays is because of my pays-the-bills job, and Tuesdays and Sundays are the only days I get off. As we head into November, I'm going to be losing one of those two days. As we head into December, I will lose both and be working a solid 7 days a week until Christmas.

That means... no writing days. Less in November, and probably none in December... and that's not a good thing.

So on the one hand: yay for money to pay for editing, cover art, and food. Yay!
On the gripping hand: I have to write faster. I think if I can manage 15,000 words a week, I should be able to finish the new Tintian before November, which means I can send it off for editing during the time I have no time.

Plans! Woo. It's a start, at least.

Reading Some Steampunk YA

Technically speaking, I am neither a YA author, nor a Steampunk author. I mean, the genres both interest me in a "ooh, that's cool" sorta way, but I'm reading this series ("The Leviathan Series" by Scott Westerfeld) on the recommendation of an artist friend.

They're fun! Not super deep, but good action, some really interesting fusion of bio-tech and steampunk ("Darwinists" vs "Clankers" in the parlance of the book). It's a neat spin on an alternate-world WWI, and the lead characters are both interesting and fun.

They were certainly good enough to push me through reading the first two in a couple days... I'm languishing a little on the last one just because I hate saying goodbye to cool characters, and this is the last book they're in (for now, at least).

Anyway! Thoroughly enjoyable read, and I'm looking forward to incorporating some of the better aspects into my own work.

I'm also past the 9,000 word mark on my first draft of the new Tintian book (again? I think I was up past 10,000 a little while ago, before cutting an entire chapter). Slow, but happy progress.

Found an Editor!

Not much else to say today. Found an editor out of PEI, who has started work.

I'll keep everyone posted about progress, but this should be a very positive step!