Saturday, August 23, 2014

Writing Update at Long Last

Last year, I did a pretty good job of updating ya'll about my writing once a month, until I got buried in Ankulen edits and became busy with other sorts of posts.

But I suppose you guys do deserve something of a update to let you know where I am in the writing world.

So, anyways.

For some reason, my brain just melts in summer, and this year, since I combined it with working, I did not get very much great writing done. HOWEVER, I have managed to bring Kingdom's second draft almost to the point where the first draft stalled. I'm liking how the story is flowing, a lot of the characters are getting some pretty good development ... especially Robin. I didn't mean for this to be "her" book, but she seems to be taking over, despite not having any POV. Most of the time, you see her through Eric's favorable eyes, or you get Arthur's rather overwhelmed opinion.

Also, the short stories are ... coming. Currently, Eric is at Casperl's house in Woodcutter Quince. I'm liking the scene, but um ... little secret here ... I'm not good with all-male scenes. I'm getting better, but despite the fact that Eric almost writes himself, Casperl ... doesn't always. I think that if I just sit down and push myself through the story, it won't actually be that difficult, I just haven't had the gumption to push myself through.

With Gift Exchange, I'm a tad bit more stuck. It's going to be a sweet little story, with good character development for the twins - perhaps the last time Robert fans will see him in full action, but ... even though I know exactly what I want to do with the book, it's slow writing, and I realized that I was going the wrong direction, and had to back up a few paragraphs to correct myself.

We'll not talk about Saffron's Even Bigger Plan. Despite the fact that I, again, know exactly where I'm going with the story, it only has half a page of writing.

I have two writing contests that I plan to participate in this year, Anne Elizabeth Stengl's Beauty and the Beast collection, and a cats in space sci-fi thing hosted by E. Kaiser. I know what I'm writing for both of these, and while I actually have Fairer than Beauty started, I still need to settle on a title for the sci-fi one. It's going to be about an alien people who are a cross between cats, vulcans, Chinese people, and computers finding earth for the first time and incorrectly assuming that cats are the intelligent life forms. It will be interesting, but I still need to figure out what I'm doing with it.

Speaking of Catlins (the name of the cat/vulcan/Chinese/computer people), they were huge characters in my sci-fi novel last November, and I'm sure all of ya'll are interested in hearing what great progress I've made with that story ...

Eh ... there hasn't been any progress. The story is just sitting on my desktop grinning at me with it's 50,845 words and 99 pages. But my mom and I sat down and did some plotting, (as well as some pretty cool worldbuilding for the fantasy sequel) and I think that I can write myself out of that block ... although I did have a panic session as I forgot who had the next chapter and I couldn't find notebook where I had written all of my notes.

But, the notebook has been found, so progress can resume. I'm really looking forward to sharing this series with you.

I finished the first draft of Water Princess, Fire Prince this year, perhaps my biggest achievement. However, as I've sat down to rewrite the story, it has ... resisted my attempts. The sequel, which I also decided to plunge into a rewrite, has not had the same problem. I've been wanting to start this rewrite for some time, however, and it is a story that I have finished four times already, so it's not surprising. I've wracked up 16 notebook pages, which isn't bad considering the time I've spent on it.

(Petra, stop tormenting Ashley. You're just going to regret it when you find out ... uh, I can't tell you what you're going to find out, spoilers and all that ...)

Also in notebooks is The Nine Gems of Virtue. I've almost finished the first chapter of this rewrite, and I won't hesitate to say that my version is better than my mom's. I don't have a huge infodump of backstory, but I do have lots of hints that reflect all of the worldbuilding and plotting that Mom and I have put into the story.

I also have Mermaid Footprints in the same notebook that I had written Sun Jewel Contest (a notebook that also contains the opening of Jeptha's Hill from back when it was going to be an book in the series, and some prewriting for future Bookania Quests. That's one lucky notebook there, something from all of my big three). So far, it's doing pretty nicely. Jen's on the scene at the moment, and it's interesting to see how she has matured since The Ankulen.

Speaking of the Ankulen, I know I told ya'll that I would try writing a sequel entitled Anka Jenifer. Well ... I've changed my mind. Instead, you guys will get Tales of Ooladada. Jen and her siblings will enter that series in book 3, and I think you guys will like it.

I believe that's about it, unless we mention the fact that I did break through on some block in HaV Academy, and now have three chapters for Roxanne, and one for Fiona, until I wrote myself into another block ... but I like most of the words I added (except for some random bit about a cow ... that is going to go ...).

Also, I broke my Ankulen back in January. I didn't mean to, but my sister was trying to hit me with a frying pan, and I defended myself with my hand (as I usually do) and the ring took the blow. My mom let me raid her jewelry box to find a replacement ring, and while I did find one, I'm not allowed to wear rings on any fingers besides the ring and pinkie fingers at work, and since I wear my Ankulen on my middle finger, I would dutifully leave it off. Except one day, I didn't place it where I normally do, and now I can't find it.

Currently, I'm wearing an heirloom ring that my Grandma gave me custody of on my eighteenth birthday to see if I can get the juices working, because I honestly believe that my lack of an Ankulen has been a good deal of my problem.

Also, speaking of work, I quit my job. Yesterday was my last day.

I've had the job for nine months (pretty much exactly) and I just felt that it was time to move on. For now, I'm going to focus on my writing and becoming officially done with school. I'm going to go visit my cousin Tenya (the one who designed the covers for the Bookania Quests) for the next two weeks, and when I get back, I'll start hunting for a new job, with the condition that I can start on December first. (I don't want to balance a new job and NaNo like I did last year, as I believe that's what happened to my inspiration for that story.)

Yes, I'm going to miss the steady income over the next few months, but I've found that I'm the best inspired in autumn, so hopefully I'll get some good words in, perhaps get the short story collection completely out. Also, I'm looking at getting my GiraffeCrafts knitting business up and rolling, which will be exciting.

So, on that note, a plate of eggs and bacon that I crocheted.

I'll be selling these (minus the plate) for 5.00 a set.


  1. It sounds like you've been getting some good writing and plotting done in the recent weeks and months.
    Good luck with your new job search!

  2. Hurrah for progress! --even if it's slow and halting (and head-banging) at first. At least you have words on a page, wot? Your Catlins sound...fascinating (pardon the pun ;-)), and while I must admit to some disappointment about Anka Jennifer, knowing she and her sibs will be in Ooladada makes me want to read that series even more (among a slew of other things you've hinted at)!

    But ACK! You BROKE your Ankulen? And then LOST it?! Omigosh.... *BigFrightenedPuppyEyes* Here's hoping you can find it soon and get it fixed! /PANIC

    May your visit with your cousin be a good time, may God send you lots of Inspiration and Motivation this Fall, and may your new job (whatever it ends up being) be one you enjoy. May your home business do well, too!

    God bless, and happy writing,

    1. I think you'll like her in Ooladada, since it will be at a better pace, and a much bigger story over all.

      And yes ... I broke my Ankulen ... and lost its replacement. Mom is not happy with me about the losing part, and I am looking for it.

    2. Having recovered from my little [sympathetic] panic-attack, it occurred to me that it was actually your sister who broke your Ankulen when she hit you with that frying pan (um...yikes), not you.

      Annnnnd if it's any comfort, I had a similar experience--only it was totally my fault. When I was nineteen I tore (yes, TORE) my "promise" ring that my dad had given me on my sixteenth birthday. It got caught in a chicken-wire fence I was stepping over, I lost my balance, and...oy.
      Thankfully there was a jeweler in town who was able to fix it, but I'm only just now able to wear rings again without fear that I'll destroy them. :-P

      Best wishes in your search!

    3. P.S.1
      I just realized that first bit might come off as a bit nasty. Forgive me--it was totally unintentional--this is what I get for typing with half a brain. :-P

      Your (or rather, your sister's) newest idea for Ooladada and the Ankulen "universe" sounds. So. Cool! I've often wondered how you would explain the fact that many writers/poets/painters, etc. don't use their gifts for the Lord; the "false Anka/Anku" angle answers that question.:-)

      *Waits for series to be published*
      Happy writing!


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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