Current WIP(s)

Friday, September 10, 2010

The First Final Stage

WOW! I have finally managed to do something that has been eluding me for the past year and a half…at least. Tonight I put the finishing touches on a story I have been working on for over two years now. Of course we're only talking first draft here, but still it's quite an accomplishment for me, especially lately. Unfortunately due to my life circumstances I have not been able to devote the amount of time I would like to my writing and I have stories that are suffering and being ignored because of it. Over the last couple of days however I have found it damn near irresistible. I just had to finish this story! I've had stories and characters screaming in my head before but this was like an absolute takeover of my mind. I slept even less than normal at night and I could barely concentrate on my studies. BUT the good thing is, it's done!

This particular story, Immortal, has been one of my favorites to write even though it's been a very long process for me. Generally when I start on a story I can pound it out within a few months. This one was not so easy to complete. Because of my now non-existent work schedule, school, and other personal issues I didn't have the time to sit and write this story the way I wanted to. I always carry my notebook around with me in my purse so I was at least able to jot down ideas and dialogue when they came to me. I was so excited when I finally got to sit down at my computer and type it all out into the file I had started so long ago. What really surprised me was that I remembered every detail of what I was thinking at the time I wrote each particular note. This never happens for me. Usually I write a note and have to add a lot of detail to it so that I make sure I get it right in the story, but with Immortal I didn't have to do that. I had a few notes in the book that were just one or two words here and there and I managed to remember exactly what I was thinking and why I wrote it down. So with all of this I was able to finish up the last few chapters of the book.

Now comes the hard part. Self-editing. Just the thought of it makes me cringe. As I've stated a million times before this is not something that I am very good at. I don't edit my writing; I butcher it and murder it until there's nothing left but the main concept of the story with a few good scenes or dialogue I can't bring myself to get rid of. I have vowed however that this time it will not happen the way it always has in the past. In the very little spare time I had while I was working I was able to do some research and get some tips on how to be a better self-editor. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that struggles with this and the tips I did get were extremely helpful…so far at least. I started the editing process earlier this evening and think I'll be going back to it here shortly. I think the reason I'm trying so hard this time is that this particular story is one that I really, really want to get out there. This one I have more confidence in and am more comfortable sending it off to betas and my friends/editors for corrections, suggestions, and advice. Baby steps, right? The first time I subbed a story I about cried when I read the feedback for it. But it was good feedback, even if some of it was a little harsh, such is the nature of the writing beast. Once I went back and read the story with all of the suggestions given to me in mind I realized that for the most part they were right. The story wasn't good enough, not nearly good enough. But that was ok. I didn't expect it to be perfect anyway so I made the adjustments where I needed to. Unfortunately that story has gone nowhere since. But that's because that story is in the M/T/S genre and I'm more of a Fantasy girl so I wasn't really feeling it. Maybe there will come a time when I can go back to it, actually better than maybe since I already have the idea for a sequel in mind, but for now I'm just sticking to my Fantasy writing because that I know I can do better than M/T/S.

So anyway, Immortal is wrapped around the prophecy made about Makayla (my favorite witch ever!) centuries before she was born. Very powerful, destined to be the best, blah blah blah, you get the picture. Sounds like a million other Fantasy stories you've read huh? That's what I thought too when I started it, not that it really mattered to me. I get an idea in my head and I'm far too obsessive not to see it through to the end. The things that I love the most about the story are the twists and turns and little things here and there you are not expecting to happen. Like the types of friends that Makayla associates with, one of which is a very powerful demon that nevertheless assists Makayla every chance she gets. And the "villain" that she is "destined to destroy" is not who you expect him to be. That particular twist happens to be my favorite one, though it doesn't come until the very end of the story. Anywho, the problem she runs into throughout the story is trying to find out how to destroy this particular villain without also killing herself in the process. Without giving too much of the story away they have fought in the past and both have been injured severely, mentally and physically. With the help of her teacher/mentor/secret lover Samuel, Makayla finally finds a way to destroy the one being on earth that can kill her. Will she actually go through with it is the question…

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WTF Is Goin On Around Here?!?!

To Do List:

Remove progress bars from blog ...... check
Rip up and burn every word written on both idle (former current) WIP's so as to remove all evidence of such horrid writing......... check
Take slow, deep breaths
Remind self that giving up is not an option
Repeat following lines until you have convinced yourself: I can be a writer, I can be a writer, I can be a writer, I can be a writer

Um yeah, sorry about that but I had to do it. It's been a weird couple of months to be sure. I haven't had a whole lot of time for writing and it's become very frustrating. There are multiple reasons for this, but the main one would be that even when I do get the chance to write, it's nothing but junk. Oh and I really mean uberjunk!! Like a grade school child is trying to write a novel, that's what it ends up like. That's even worse than normal for me. I can generally make it seem like I am mildly intelligent with good ideas, someone who needs help here and there with their writing, but still has potential. Not so much lately though. I spent some time today editing the little bit of work that I have been able to do on my Fantasy WIP, a big mistake as anyone who knows me will tell you (I don't self edit, I murder my work. If I don't pass it along to someone else to do that job, it all goes in the trash.) So when I started I was expecting the usual battle of whether or not to trash every single word I've written, save a few witty remarks here and there, but there was no battle this time. I hung my head in defeat and said goodbye to possibly the worst writing I have ever done in my life.

When I first started on that particular story I was writing between 2k and 7k a day. Over the past few months I haven't even written 3k. Freaking ridiculous! I love the story idea and I have lots of scenes in my head, but they are just not coming together properly when I try and put them down on paper. And yes, that is exactly what I do. First draft is always longhand. I just write better that way... well, normally I write better that way. In this case I have even tried doing the first draft on my trusty laptop, but to no avail. The biggest problem is that I don't really get to devote the amount of time I want to the story. A few minutes here and there just isn't going to cut it for me. Thank goodness for my notebook cus I'd be in a big ole mess without it. There I can jot down the ideas when I can't get them into the story and go back to them later. Sort of anyway.

I'm also experiencing the issue of not only that story idea floating around in my head, but yet another one that's screaming to be let out. Of course it's another Fantasy one, but it's a bit different than what I would normally do. Generally I keep my character list light, but for this one I'm thinking it should involve a whole group of people. Not really sure on the number yet because every time I think I've completed the circle so to speak, another one pops up that fits right in. Oh and usually I have female MC's, but not this time. I am seriously infatuated with one particular guy in my head right now. I'd love to get him down on paper and see how he turns out because for me they never turn out the way I originally intend them to. I don't know how many times I've said it, but the story goes where it wants and all I do is follow along like I know what's going on. I'm ok with that though. As far as I'm concerned that's the way it should be. Let it do what it will and never mind what you think or want. 'Cus it's not about you. It's about these people, or just person, that you're letting come through you. I've never had control over any of my stories and nor would I want to. I tried to force a story into a different direction than what it seemed to be going one time. That didn't turn out well at all. Suffice it to say that one was never even see by anyone else, that's how badly I jacked it up. But I learned my lesson long ago not to mess with a good thing.

And this story in my head seems like such a good thing. It seems so wasteful to me to just let it roam around up there, or rather scream around because that's what it's doing, and not let it out at least a little at a time. I'm only afraid that if I do it a little at a time I'll lose something of the story that makes it so special. I have a thing about writing when I get the chance to do it. I want to do it nonstop. I want to sit in a comfortable spot and write until my hand is cramped and then write even more. I want to be able to spend all night long just whipping out words on what these people are about to go through and how they come out of it in the end. I want to...but I can't. School alone can keep me busy enough on most days that by the time I sit down to write I feel like my brain is nothing but a pile of mush sloppin around in my skull. I mean, I know that right at this moment while I'm typing this I could instead be writing my story, but I'm not in the right frame of mind at the moment. Everything is too jumbled and chaotic at this hour of the night and I know what kind of things I write when that's the case. *shudders* No, I'll save it for when I put a coherent thought or two down without being sidetracked five seconds later by another one that's equally interesting to me. Sometimes I'm just too easily distracted, that's all there is to it. :)

So, ok, now that I've rambled and vented a bit it's time to see what I can make of this group of chosen few on earth who possess these strange and unknown powers. ;-)

*kicks self for going so long without even writing so much as a blog post*

Friday, March 12, 2010

Growing Up - March Blog Chain

It is once again time for the monthly AW Blog Chain. I just joined these last month and I had a ton of fun so I figured I'd try it again.

This month's topic? Growing up. Had to jump on this subject as I have a whole lot to say. ;-)

Let me say right off the bat... .*sings* I don't wanna grow up cus I'm a Toys-R-Us kid

Seriously, I don't. But who does though right? Growing up and realizing you're an adult is no fun. BUT, being an adult doesn't necessarily mean no fun anymore. Yeah, there are more responsibilities when you become an adult, but there's also more fun in some cases.

Me though, I have the mind of a teenager and I could care less. I laugh at everything, I goof around a lot, I'm more than a little weird, and I get excited very easily. That's what I love about my life though. I am responsible but at the same time I still have fun. I can't imagine going through life without any of the above traits, that quite frankly annoy people I know to no end. *shrugs* The way I see it, you can't deal with my sometimes childish humor/behavior, you're not worth my time. I'm not going to walk around all serious all the time. You have to have some fun in life or you'll go nuts.

I have three nephews ranging from 3 to 11 and I run around the house with them like I'm just one of the kids. It's fun to play with them, and all my friend's kids too. I don't have kids of my own so I cherish the time I spend around other people's kids. Watching them grow up is one of my guilty pleasures. Even though they're not my children, I'm very proud of them when I see them.. how do I put this... just becoming the people they are. I hope that makes sense. I don't think I'm explaining myself very well on this matter. Put simply, I love watching even the smallest things, down to their different day to day activities.

Now, when I think about my childhood, I always smile. We may not have had the newest clothes, electronics, etc. like those around us, but we always made the best of what we did have. I grew up with three older brothers (two of them being step-brothers) so I was a bit of a tomboy. Still am actually. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Not only did it, quite frankly, keep me protected from people of the male persuasion (there are benefits to being the little sister and only girl), it toughened me up. I think I can handle a lot more because of their influence. Also they exposed me to things I doubt I otherwise would have gotten the chance to participate in. For instance, all three boys did Boy Scouts when they were younger. Being the (at times) spoiled child that I was, I was allowed to go on their outings with them. This also had to do with the fact that my mom was a Den Mother, and step-dad helped sometimes, for the local Boy Scouts and they found it pointless to get a babysitter for me when I was too young to stay at home alone. The point is that I have those experiences to take with me throughout life.

I had a ton of fun with my brothers when we were growing up. After my mom divorced and it was just me, her, and my older brother, I think it got even better. Then my brother and I started getting along better, we had more of the same friends, we fought a lot less. So, the remaining years where it was just the three of us left their mark on me as well.

Like I said before, I'm still childlike in many ways. I don't think there's anything wrong with that though. Life is too short to not get in touch with our inner child once in a while, let go of all the stress and worry, and just have fun.


aimeelaine -
AuburnAssassin -
DavidZahir -
FreshHell -
Simran -
Proach -
*RomanceWriter* -
Breddings -
laffarsmith -
Sneaky Devil -
leahzero -
razibahmed -
RavenCorinnCarluk -
Collectonian -

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blocked or Just Not Creative Enough?

Truth be told I don't think it was either. Since it lasted less than a week, I'm of the opinion I was just in a minor slump and could have easily worked myself out of it sooner had I bothered to use any common sense. Oh, you don't know what I mean do you? Long story short: writing issues, ideas in head, mind goes blank when it's time to actually write the ideas/dialogue out. It was like for that period of time when I tried to write, I would forget everything I'd been obsessing over. Go to something else, thoughts of WIP are back in my head. A complete and total pain in my arse. I have an active, vivid imagination, so it wasn't lack of plots, scenes, or dialogue that was  plaguing me. I had it all up there ready to come out, it just didn't want to.

Great. Now what? I get extremely cranky when I can't write. And when I say can't write, I mean anything. It took me three frakin days just to do the last posting here! Ridiculous. I moped and felt sorry for myself for a minute, then made myself try and write. That turned out great. *rolls eyes* One usually fool proof method I use when this happens is reading. I picked up a book I've been taking my time with and got comfy.So, I asked my writerly type friends for advice.

Oh boy, the things I heard from them. Some of them sympathized, others did not. There were some who had been down the same road before and gave me a few ideas to try and help, prompts and things of that sort, but I'll get to that in a minute. I want to touch quickly on the ones who think, as many out there do, that writer's block does not actually exist. Now, as I said before, I don't think I was actually blocked, just in a funk. But there are people who will tell you, and told me when I asked them, that writer's block isn't a real problem, it's just a myth, whatever. Now, I have gone through one period where I was literally unable to write. We're talking shaking hands, nauseous, sweating, the whole nine yards. It terrified me to try and write. That lasted for a little over six months or so, and was not a pleasant time for me. The whole time, all I did was read. I couldn't write, so I read. I think I managed about a book every day or two, depending on the length. Then one day, without thinking about it, I sat down at the computer and my fingers started flying. Problem solved, blockage taken care of. Don't ask me how, but it was. And I've never had it so bad since then. I've gone through slumps where my ideas are crap, or the words I do manage to produce don't work well with the story. So, all that being said, I don't know how someone can say that writer's block doesn't exist. I've been through it. I know what it's like to be physically unable to write anything. Perhaps those people are just more talented than I am and never have difficulty with their writing. *shrugs*

So, what did I do to get out of my funk? I actually used common sense... go figure. It annoys me that it took me so many days to realize what I should/could try. Because when you think about it, it's just simple logic. Try writing something else. I suppose the fact that I couldn't even do a blog post was stopping me from trying anything else, let alone another story. But I was given the idea of a prompt from someone and I thought I'd give it a shot. Said person gave me three items to write about, told me my limit was no more than 500 words, and sent me on my way. I figured I'd give it a shot, and I'm glad I did.

I wrote my little piece, which with me being long-winded and all came out to 658 words, and I realized I didn't want to stop. I had to keep going. And as somebody told me later on, I'd gotten my MC into a mess, I had to give her the chance to get out. It's now over 1500 words, which isn't too bad considering the circumstances it sprouted from. I posted some of it up on Absolute Write to be critiqued and I've received some good advice so far. Of course I'm extremely grateful for that. I'll always take advice on how to improve my writing. I've also been thinking about other plainly obvious things I could do to help me form ideas for a current WIP or help me move on when I am stuck. I know a few people who swear by any and every form of writing exercise under the sun. They say the exercises spark little ideas here and there and eventually one is going to begin to grow. More than one if you're lucky. And of course there is my favorite standby, reading. I love to read anyway, so it's not hard for me to find a book to escape into. There's usually something out there that can help you get back to what you love. As long as you never give up, there's always hope. :-)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Writing a Fantasy Novel

I love writing in the Fantasy genre. There's so much room to move around and play. My favorite part about it, and also the most troublesome, is that you get to make new worlds if you want ,or just revamp our existing one. Either way you do it, it's always good fun, and when done properly a great read. My reasoning for all this can be broken down into three simple sections; the worlds created and/or changed, the powers given to characters, and the plots of the stories.

The Worlds:
Let's take a look at the world part of the story first. It could be the world we know and are familiar with, only with magic behind the scenes (or not), or it could be something completely new, created from scratch by the author. One of my favorite examples of this is, that I've read recently anyway, (of course) the Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams. (Forgive me talking about him so much in these posts, I just really like his books. *shrugs*). He started from scratch and made up, not only a kingdom, but a whole world filled with gods and demigods, human characters, and various forms of magical/mythical beings. Writers who create new worlds go through quite a bit of work to make it happen. I for one love to do it. I have created new worlds multiple times in my WIPs. It can be daunting and sometimes hard to figure out all the details needed, but in the end it's always worth it. To me anyway... When a writer creates a new world they have the opportunity to go beyond the boundaries set for them by the world we live in. There are limits, of sorts, that come with writing about our world. But when you create a new one, there are no restraints. Granted, it has to be somewhat plausible, but there is far more room to move when you can create everything down to the tiniest detail; make it all your own design.

Shadowmarch Castle

Another thing I love about the world aspect is jumping back and forth. In Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, he has his own little world, or rather ours but one that has "moved on". But, Roland, the MC, travels from Mid-World to our world... a few times actually, and he's not the only one. By means of portals and doorways they are transported to different times and places in our world. (Insert King into his own work during two of these excursions, which some people think is arrogant, but I adore. He did it quite well IMHO.) Other characters are transported in different ways, in some cases death, from our world to Mid-World. Being able to see a character go back and forth between the two worlds allows you to see not only their world, but to see ours from a perspective we have never had. Things that are commonplace to us are alien to them, and would be the same if we were to travel to their world. That's what does it for me, right there. To be able to not only jump into a place I've never been before, but to know what our world looks like to an outsider, is what appeals to me.

The Powers:
Another thing I adore about writing in Fantasy is the power aspect. Call them powers, gifts, abilities, whatever you want. The point is, they're fun to play with and enormous fun to dole out IMHO. For example; I have one MC who can do multiple things like control the elements, telekinesis, telepathy, etc. (the girl is a veritable fortress of power), and then I have some with only one or two powers. FYI: pretty much all of my MC's are witches, and female ones at that. I do have some that aren't strictly witches and some that are male, but for the most part, that's what I write. The one male I am truly in love with, and he stars in three of my WIPs, is simple really; he has only two powers and he kicks major ass with them, so I don't find it necessary to give him more. As for the one with multiple powers, she has to have them, it's all part and parcel of the life she's living inside my head. She also kicks major ass. ;-)


But when you start to look at all of the possibilities for powers out there, you'll find a very wide range. I'd be surprised to find there are limits to what you can make your characters do. I suppose I should allow that some people will say there are limits, but not for me, not in my work. I mean, think about it. You can make a character so powerful that he/she can wipe out an entire legion of evil beings with the swipe of their hand. Or you can just keep it simple, give the MC just the basics and watch them tear the world apart. ;-)

The Plots:
Ah, now here's where I really get long-winded and rambly. The plots, the plots, the plots. Love 'em. Not always mind you, there are some books I've read that I wished I'd never even heard of, but for the most part I do love them. Of course the plot is essential to any story, that's just a given. But what I'm referring to is the fact that pretty much every story has been told by now, it's the ways they are reinvented that really excite me. Who hasn't read various "chosen one" scenarios or the whole apocalypse idea over and over again? But why do we keep reading these stories that, at the core, are all the same? We do it because the author has the ability to make their story different from all the other ones out there. We do it because the author is able to take an old idea and put a new twist on it. Let's talk Harry Potter for a moment. Another "chosen one" situation, but done different than the rest by the tiniest details that make up the characters, the setting, the trials, etc. Inevitably one side is going to win in these battles, and it's not always the good side either. In my reading experiences, which admittedly is much less than many people I associate with, I have found that I like these chosen one stories that deal with the younger generation. Depending on how long these things go on for, years in the case of HP, we may get to see the character grow and develop, either into who everyone thinks they should, or into the polar opposite of that. After all, the chosen one doesn't always turn out good... or even begin that way. Watching how the character deals with the burden on their shoulders is also another appealing thing to me. It makes me wonder how I would cope if I were ever in the same situation. Though, I will say, it wouldn't be nearly as well as they do. :-D

How many times have we read a book where the fate of the world rested on the MC's, and possibly supporting character's, shoulders? I have done this a few times myself. The appeal for the end of the world scenario, to me anyway, is to see how the MC overcomes it all to win in the end....or not. There's a 50-50 chance that things will not go the way they should, i.e. HEA or at least the best HEA possible.

There's also a chance the world will crumble and fall, taking every inhabitant along with it. Don't ya just love it? There is also to consider, if the apocalypse is averted, the aftermath of such a battle. What does it do to our everyday lives? What does it do to those who, thinking magic is nothing but fairy tale and legend, see it firsthand and must live with the knowledge of something they've never faced before? Not only that, but let's say the MC survives the whole ordeal, how do they go on afterward? What do they do now that, in some cases, their destiny or purpose is complete?

Now, I know you don't always get the answers to every question you have when you read a book. Sometimes you're left scratching your head and wanting to give anything just to get more information. But that's the beauty of it. If a story can leave you wanting more it's more than worth it in the end. You may be frustrated with the way the story ends, you may not agree with what happens, but that's just the way it goes. If with your story you can manage to bring your reader into your world, make them feel like they are living through the same experiences as your MC, and sometimes even make them want to be your MC, then IMHO you've written an excellent Fantasy story. Even if your preferred genre is not Fantasy, I would recommend giving it a shot at least once. You never know what's going to come of it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

OMG its Shadowrise!!

-Quick note before we begin. Don't expect some intellectual review of this book here, that's not how I roll. I'm not doing this to "review" the book, but to let the few people who read this find out about a great author and, IMHO, an excellent series of books. I'll leave it up to others who have the skill to do such things to review the book. Besides, I haven't read the whole thing yet, just a few chapters and snippets which I'll explain later. Let me quit my rambling now...

I can't believe it. I just really can't believe that I'm sitting here looking at a copy of the last chapter of Shadowrise by Tad Williams. His wife Deborah was kind enough to send it to me after I responded to a Tweet she posted. Had to do it. Wouldn't pass up this chance for anything. I simply love the Shadowmarch series. Shadowmarch was the first book that introduced me to Tad Williams and I've been a fan ever since. The day I finished Shadowmarch I ran back to the library and ordered Shadowplay, the second book in the series. (Oh, the wait while the rinky dink library I was forced to use had the book delivered! Weeks!!) Well, not being familiar with Mr. Williams' work, I thought I was going to get the ending of a story that had me reading literally all day and night. (And yes, I passed those couple of weeks reading the book for a second time, then perusing it for my favorite parts.) I won't say I was disappointed when I realized, about halfway through the book, that I wasn't going to get my ending. In fact, I was thrilled. There's gonna be more! Granted I hate waiting for new books in a series to come out, but such is the life. Publishing doesn't work on the schedule the fans want it to. ;-)

Shadowmarch: Volume One - 2004
Covers: Briony and Barrick Eddon

So far as I can tell, it was definitely worth the wait. Let me just explain that I've read other parts of the book through various releases; one by Tad himself (Tad Williams Site in the Message Board), one by a blogger (Pat's Fantasy Hotlist), and various teasers Tad's wife Deborah has released on Twitter. So I had a little information on the new book already when I read the final chapter. Why would I want to read the last chapter of a book before I read the rest of it? Easy. Because I love the series, and no matter what I'm going to be reading these books for years to come, so why not get a little snippet here and there if I can? And truth be told, there's so much going on in these books that, while I will remember many things from the last chapter, I won't remember every tiny detail. Some of you may say that it ruins the fun or point of a book, to read the last chapter first...or close to first anyway. But to me it's different. Yes, it makes me want the book even more. Yes, I know things now that I wouldn't normally know already (though how much that is is yet to be found out). BUT I take solace in one simple thing; Shadowrise isn't the last book in the series so I didn't completely ruin the whole story for myself by reading the ending of it.

Shadowplay - 2007

Teenage twins Briony and Barrick Eddon are thrust into the role of King and Queen of Southmarch after the kidnapping of their father and murder of their older brother. Circumstances abound and the twins are separated and go on their respective paths to save not only their castle, but all of Southmarch from a deranged emperor believing himself to be a god on earth. There is also to contend with the strange and eerie creatures that are emerging from beyond the Shadowline and the nightmarish Yasammez,a frightening witch to be sure. Barrick's journey takes us to the other side of the Shadowline where we find even stranger creatures and perils to overcome. Briony struggles to remain alive as she makes her way to safety, trying to find a way to save her father and their castle. Let's not forget all of the other characters which have their own trials to overcome.
(This little paragraph does absolutely no justice to the story as a whole; it's nothing more than the barest skim over the basis of the story. My apologies for the not-so-exciting description.)

Shadowrise - March 2010

Now to the third installment of the Shadowmarch series, Shadowrise. So, as I said before, I'd already read a few parts of the book, and before I read the newest part, I reread the others... well, just because I wanted to. :-D By the end of the chapter I was once again in that state of equal excitement and frustration. The frustration is obvious I would think. I don't have the whole book, nor do I have the fourth book. Nothing to do about that, so it's only mild compared to the excitement. I loved it, plain and simple. Based on what I know of the series so far and what I've read of this particular book to date, it's going to be a great success. At least to me it is. To me it promises more excitement to see what happens not only to the MC's but also the various characters whom I've become rather attached to. Once again delving into this world made me remember why I fell in love with these books so quickly.

Any good book should have the ability to take you out of reality, at least for a little while. For me the Shadowmarch series, not to mention his other works like the Otherland series, does more than that. It makes me wish I could physically touch these people, talk to them, watch them go through these things with my own eyes rather than just my mind's eye. I want to know what it smells like in the Hive, I want to feel the castle floors beneath my feet as I wander through it's various rooms. I can very easily immerse myself into the worlds of many different stories, but there aren't that many out there that have this kind of affect on me. That's what I love about it the most.

If you haven't had the chance to read the work of Tad Williams I recommend you take the time to. I could sit here and bore you all to death with the reasons I like his other works as well, but I think I've been long-winded enough as it is. :-D Suffice it to say, I think he's a very good author who is definitely worth taking the time to check out. I'm sure other people can put it all better than I have here, but you know me, I just spew my thoughts and ramble on, and hardly put any real intelligence or organization into it. ;-)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Upcoming Post....just a wee explanation

I'm so geeked that I had to just stop what I was doing and write this down... type it out, whatever.

I'm going to be putting up a post, sometime today or tomorrow, about the final book in the Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams. The third book, Shadowrise, is set to release soon (further details in upcoming post), and the fourth book, Shadowheart, is scheduled to follow shortly after. I was lucky enough (IMHO anyway) to be given the gift of the final chapter of Shadowrise this week and I have to write about it.

I'll get all long-winded and rambly about it later on. I just couldn't hold in the excitement any longer. :-D

ETA: Been sick so I'll get the new post up ASAP

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Writing About Love - February Blog Chain

Writing about Love

When I first read this idea on AW’s February Blog Chain, I was immediately hooked. It’s SO much easier to write about love than it is to live it. Obviously, I’m not the only one who thinks so. But for some people, love comes naturally in their lives as well as their writing.

Not so for me.

When I find that my character(s) is going to have a love interest, and sometimes it is a shock to me, I tend to tense up a little at first. How can I write about something that, outside of my friends and family, has never really happened to me before? Yes, I’ve loved a few people in my life, I suppose. But it never lasted and IMHO it wasn’t love, I just thought it was.

So what do I do when I have to/want to write about it?


I just write about how I wish it could/would be. That’s easy enough. Unfortunately it all seems so mushy and fake and cliché that it usually does not end up getting past the editing process. But those are just my self-editing skills (or major lack thereof) coming to the forefront. The words and ideas come to me easily enough. It’s not hard to write about how I wish I was treated in a relationship or about how I would treat my significant other. The only major conflict I usually run into is with my MC’s. Generally these girls are not about falling in love with anyone. They’re about doing what they have to do to survive, protect people, etc. So when the whole love question comes up, it throws me for a loop.

Also, my MC’s, the poor girls, don’t usually get the HEA, no matter what. The stories all end in tragedy and pain. Trust me, I’ve tried making it the opposite way, but the story wants what the story wants.

After all, real life isn’t always about happily ever after.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Stretching or Merging?

My stories I mean. There's two that I'm currently working on. And yes, I'm aware I haven't owned up to the other one yet, but I am now. One, as you already know, is in the Fantasy genre, the other is Erotica. The reason I bring it up now is because over the past few nights I've had more idea for the Erotica novel than the Fantasy one. But something odd happened last night, or rather at around 3 o'clock this morning, while I was writing. My stories began to merge.

Let me explain. The fantasy novel, Immortal, contains a character in a supporting role that I really like, but we don't hear too much about in the story, not in regards to her past and such. The erotica novel, Games (tentative title),  deals with her in the past, before she meets the MC of Immortal. Now, while I was writing it, little things here and there were coming into the light for me about how I can link the two stories. Not necessarily change it completely so that the MC of Immortal gets pushed to the side. I like her far too much to do that. But just give a bit more history and depth to the story. Plus, a bit more depth and knowledge of a character which in the fantasy novel you hear all about her powers and that whole side of her, but nothing more.

She's a vindictive little wench, I'll tell you that. In Games you see a completely different side of her than you do in Immortal. But that's the beauty of the story to me. That I get the chance to explore areas of her that were unknown until now is the fun. The especially cool thing about Games, for me anyway, is the dynamic she has with another female. It's a love you, hate you, can't live without you, let's see how many people we can screw (and screw with) and how many ways we can do it, kind of relationship.

So is this stupidity on my part? Trying to link these two stories, no matter how tentative that link? I don't think it is. In fact, I think it's rather fun. Pulling out the erotica novel again, which I haven't touched in a very long time, was a good idea and I don't plan on shelving it again anytime soon. Especially not the way things are going.

I swear, one day that genre will be my bread and butter. ;-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Major Renovation

I've done a major revamp on my current WIP....losing 3/4 of my work in the process, but still it was necessary. I've added a word tracker to the top of the page so that I can keep myself up to date on how well, or badly, I'm devoting myself to my writing.

This is why I don't edit my own work for the most part. But here's the thing. I was laying here this afternoon with my notebook in my lap, staring at the ceiling and brainstorming about where I was going next in my book (I like to brainstorm but if the book takes me in another direction while I'm writing it, I just let it happen) when it hit me. In order to move forward, I had to go back. There were things about the book that have been bothering me for a while now so I wanted to go back and take care of them, then see if I can manage to move forward from there.

The current word count for my book, after all the slicing and dicing I did, is at 7,493. I just hope this time it works out better for me than my last attempt. I'm really loving this story. And especially loving the little bits I'm adding to enhance the characters. I felt it was necessary as the first draft didn't do that as well as it should have. So, back to it.....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Touch of Christine - Volume I

I had this idea to showcase a friend of mine on my blog....not that many people will read it, but still... She's a really good friend of mine, her name is Christine obviously, and she writes all kinds of different things, but in these "volumes" I'm going to show her poetry. I like everything she writes. We've actually been collaborating on a Fantasy project, which unfortunately is on the back burner at the moment. I just like her writing, plain and simple. In many ways she excels in the areas I lack so that's just a plus of being her friend to me. She teaches me, which is obviously extremely helpful. But we also have fun when we bounce ideas off each other. For example; a couple of days ago I was obsessively thinking of a name for a ritual performed by a daemon in my current WiP and I just could NOT get the name right. All of the choices I came up with fell flat, they didn't work for me. So I asked her, something I should have done the moment I realized I needed the name, but better late than never. Within five minutes she was tossing so many ideas at me, asking me tons of questions (which she absolutely adores doing), and I had it. Inadvertently she also helped me add a few aspects to the spell itself and helped me define it a little better, which is something I was needing anyway.

Now, I'm not completely incompetent and have helped her on occassion as well. Tit for tat, that's just how we do things. So, without further ado, I bring you the first installment of my homage to my girl. ;)
Loves Tightrope
How much is to be said?
When these feelings are
The love had been true,
And now I’m just blue.
Cold rushes over my
I feel my hearts decline.
My heart is on the
Mercilessly you push it
Over the edge.
You made me crawl,
You stole my hope.
You watched me fall.
My loves tightrope,
My emotions grope.
You backed away,
Alone I fall, alone I stay.
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
With the Moon, Mystical
When I sat on the moon,
To time I'd been immune.
Lost in my thoughts, the
Stars becoming my nightspots.

The happiness and laughter there,
Could make Earth feel drab and bare.
Of loneliness and sorrow beware.
Not much good comes from there.

While there I was mystical,
And had no need to be fearful.
I danced with the stars,
And spoke with the moon.
The night was always ours.

The moon it yawned,
The sun and morning dawned.
I bid farewell, and down I fell.
I awaken to the bed sheets soft,
I awaken to my lonely loft.

Many sorrows here I know,
For my soul, my tears would flow.
Bitter knowledge of where I am,
Life down here is a sham.

When I go back I will rejoice,
That there I have a voice.
I will take in the joy, take in it all,
I will not be afraid of the destined
  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
My Blood it Pulsed
You called me bitch
I was repulsed
I punched your face.
My blood it pulsed.
I scream your name
Made you twitch.
This was no game.
I swung, true in aim,
My blood it pulsed.
Your fury soared,
The wall my brace.
I dug in hard,
I scraped your face.
Your blood, it poured.
My blood it pulsed.
You punch me back
With such ‘Hooray’
My blood it pulsed,
I crawled away.
  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Blah Blah Blah yadiyadiyah.
You guys are gaining chutzpah.
Try and find all of the schwa (s).
Let's get on a ricksha,
And go to the casbah.
My grandpa was a Choctaw,
My grandma knew the cha-cha.
If you call me a squaw,
I will find my pa, who
Does not abide by the law.
You can find my ma,
In Utah at the bourgeois spa.
The kids are playing on the
The lonely one on the bench
Has lockjaw.
Listen to the jackdaw, caw.
But you are my cat’s-paw!
As you read with a dropped jaw,
While you sit there in awe.
I will laugh at the one who
"Hoorah's" over colesaw.
Some claim to be in awe,
Over what I write, I would
Rather guffaw,
At the your inane huzzah.
Deja (vu)?
Blah blah blah Yadiyadiyah.
 (This is one of my favorite ones that she did. I love it when she gets all goofy and crazy in her writing because it frakin cracks me up!)
  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Two Poems in One....(no real title yet)
I lay on the couch and try
Not to cough, as I hold
....................................Our Son.

You lay in our bed,
Sleep has won. Your
Worries are

Hot tears run down
My face. Their trails

I lay here upset,
The anger seethes, it

You lay there oblivious,
To any of my changes.

You have no worries,
I take care of it all, I
....................................Never falter.

Even when I fall down,
And crash into our wall
....................................I am stronger.
  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A Moons Hope
As we walk through the shadows of yesterday,
We become lost and tomorrow seems so far away.
To stay in the past would be unwise, we must
Continue on clockwise.
When yesterday’s sun sets, we watch the moonrise.
The moon illuminates the path of tomorrow,
We should excuse all of yesterdays sorrow.
Sorrows, pains, and lies; what the moon sees can fright.
Purity and truth and all things right, is the moons hope and delight.
It could speak the wisdom of pasts, and clear the questions too.
The moon has no interest in this, for tomorrow's fresh and new.
While he has no qualms of circumstance pending,
He shines down his hopes for the earthlings.
What would he say if someone asked, "Why would you want to do that?"?
"I sit here forever little one, I watched the sorrows and all the pains,
I watched you fight for what you gain, you look to the past and
There you stay,
I want you to know the beauty of a new day,
With it can come such promise, such hope.
Yet in the past, you continue to mope."
"Why would you say such things? We carry on each day!"
"You carry on but here your thoughts stay in the past day.
You are walking the memory paths of the past,
What you don't see leaves me aghast!
You are blind to the consequences and joys of today,
I could tell you that right now is a beautiful new day,
You have already lost time so precious and true,
I will teach you what I think you need, tomorrow can
Bring such value.
Put aside your remorse and disdain, put them away and
Experience all that you can gain."
The moon and the man spoke for a while longer,
They spoke of all one can miss, they spoke of pains
And sorrows during their amiable chatter.
When they talked of joys and pleasures to come,
The man understood what the moon said was wisdom.
Soon he awoke with a start, he was in his bed but not in the dark.
The future's potential and wisdom's path he will forever embark.
The moon watched glad, as he bowed down and waited;
As he moved on, he knew she came with beauty greeted.
 (This one is probably in my top five favorites. I love her moon poems, all of them, but this one has always stuck with me for some reason.)
  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Good Commanders
Good commanders should observe,
So that the livelihood they can preserve.
To fail their duties should be a crime,
Their people should never feel its grime.

Good times should be aplenty.
But things are not always so chummy.
To war some leaders must go,
Bravery they must always show.

When times are rough at best,
They confront their lives hardest quest.
While some may fail to try,
They protect their people, and some die.

To accept defeat they will not do,
To do it would be untrue.
The greatest conquests of their time,
Are not always the ones of their prime.

While some would like to say they tried,
And mock the foes, which at swords died.
Others never will forget,
But to protect their people, they will not

To sing their names in memory,
They do not ask for this in victory.
To continue on, through good and bad,
And always protect your comrade.

To stab your people in the back,
Would be dealt with as treacherous attack.
When thoughts of this cross your mind,
Remember it is best to be kind.

To be a good commander one must observe.
To be a wise commander one must know.
The nations honor we must preserve.
And to be the best nation, it must grow.
I hope everyone has enjoyed these as much as I do. We'll see further volumes to come because she has so many it's hard for me to choose which ones I should put up. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Writing Woes blah blah blah

My writing really isn't up to snuff these days. It's a shame really because I would love to be able to devote more time to it. I really *need* to devote more time to it because these characters and scenes inside my head are soon going to drive me mad. Not only do I need time to get the story on paper, how the hell else is it going to be read if I don't, right? I also need to spend lots and lots of time working on the same issues that have been plaguing me in my writing.

I have a friend who's rather good at what they do, editing my work (and other people's work too), and I realize every time I send something to them that I get the same feedback every single time. Too much description, not enough description, passive voice passive voice passive voice (a total pain in my ass and something I can *not* stop doing for some damn reason), and a whole list of other problems I'd rather not admit.
The point? I need to improve my writing. So what? Big deal. Lots of writers need to do that. Some of them aren't willing to admit it, but I am. I *know* I need a whole lot of improvement, but here's my issue. My damn brain doesn't seem to want to absorb the information I receive from my "editor". If it did, I wouldn't still be having these problems, right? So what do I do? I research. What else? Try and figure out different ways for me to overcome these faults and actually do something to improve my writing rather than just bitching about it. Problem is, nothing is working.

So what do I do? Not give up or give in, that's for damn sure. Just keep on truckin as they say. I have to at least try and keep writing or I'll feel off. At this point I'm resigned to the fact that I'll probably never be published. And there's so many reasons for that other than the obvious one that for now I'm ok with it. I can't expect people to read my stories if I don't even like the way they are written. And if they can't get past the editing process, then there really is no hope at all. But giving up is not something I do....EVER! I'm far too obsessive to let something go. Particularly something that I enjoy this much.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Late-night Thoughts

I'm having trouble sleeping once again and so I'm browsing the internet tonight in search of information on a new book coming out that I've been dying to read. It's called Shadowrise by Tad Williams and it's the third book in what is now going to be a four book series. Originally it was three, but there was just too much to tell so it was extended.

Now, I am a huge fan of Tad Williams and I've been following the progress of this book for around a year now, ever since I went to the library and snatched up Shadowmarch on a whim I've been obsessed with the series. That little factoid shouldn't be so surprising as those of you who know me know that when I find a book I *really* like, I become obsessed with it quickly and want to read it over and over again. The good thing about the Shadowmarch series is that there is so much going on within each book, there are little things here and there that are missed in the first reading that I get to pick up in the second or third....or hundredth.

It happened by chance one day when I was in the library looking for a new Sci-Fi/Fantasy book to get into. Before this I had never even heard of Tad Williams before. What first caught me, obviously, was the cover art for Shadowmarch. Just looking at the hardcover copy of the book made me want to read it. Then of course I read the back of the book to get a feel for the story and walked directly to the counter. As long as that book is I think I devoured it within a day or two. After that I ran and picked up Shadowplay, the second book in the series.

Once again I was not disappointed. I think both books are amazing and I am so excited to see how everything turns out. I will note that part of Chapter 3 of Shadowrise was released by Tad sometime last year, and being a member of his message board I quickly jumped at the opportunity to check it out. I was a little reluctant because I knew I would have to wait to read more, but I just couldn't resist. And I'm glad I didn't. The little bit of the book I got to read was great. Well, recently I have been following Tad's wife on Twitter, where she releases excerpts from his books, and I have been given another gift of getting to read even more of the third book.

The official release date is March 4 and I for one will be at the nearest Barnes & Noble to pick it up. I don't actually own the other two, but they are on my list of books to buy in the near future as I would like to revisit them again. It's been long enough I think that I can go back to them without seeming completely obsessive. ;-)

One more thing to note is that the fourth installment of the series is called Shadowheart and is set to be released "shortly after Shadowrise". We all know how these things go and it could be a little while before it comes out, but I for one, am really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Week of January 31, 2010 Goal

My goal for this week:

25,000 words

Progress to date:

3,698 words 1/31/2010
2,879 words 2/1/2010
4,135 words 2/2/2010
1,309 words at 6am 2/3/2010 (couldn't sleep because of the damn scene in my head) 
HAVE NOT WRITTEN A WORD IN DAYS!!!! *smacks self* Bad Kerri, very BAD KERRI!!


12,021/25,000 for week of 1/31/2010-2/6/2010

Alright people, so here's the deal. Things keep happening to distract me from my writing, and as we all know distracting me really doesn't take much at all. I am trying though, really and truly, to stop this from happening anymore as I can't seem to stop thinking about this story. It's quite odd actually, no matter how distracted I get and focus on other things, the story always seems to be sitting at the back of my mind. Little bits and pieces of it will come to me throughout the day and I just have to write them down. All I can say is thank goodness for notebooks. :D

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Ok, so I'm being absolutely horrible about my writing now. I haven't written even one word since my last update here. Disgusting! I finally did get my laptop though so it should be easier now for me to keep up with all of this writing I need to get done. So, I'm off to write some more. I'll post a new entry detailing my progress later on today as I plan to spend a good chunk of time on writing today. Wish me luck! :D

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Week of Jan 17, 2010 Goal

Ok, so I completely shorted myself last week and didn't come anywhere near the goal I wanted to. Bad Kerri! Very bad Kerri!! So I'm adding the difference to this week's goal and I hope I can actually do what I want this time. *crosses fingers*

My goal for this week:

25,000+16,940= 41,940 words

Progress to date:

1,564 words 1/17/2010
2,891 words 1/18/2010
459 words 1/19/2010
6,543 words 1/20/2010
4,216 words 1/21/2010


15,673/41,940 for week of 1/17/2010-1/23/2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Week of Jan 10, 2010 Goal

Hopefully I can manage to stick to this idea better than I do to others. As I don't have to do much in this case, it shouldn't be too difficult....but we'll see.

I wanted a new way to track my writing progress each week and a way to jot down ideas and things for stories for other people to comment on if they should choose to do so. So hopefully this will work and won't be left in the dark and forgotten about.

So, here it goes. My goal this week is get another 15-20k done before the weekend and hopefully another 5k at least over the weekend. I know those numbers seem a bit off to some, but at the rate I've been writing lately I think I can meet that least I hope so.

On a side note, I will be editing these postings throughout the week to track my progress and limit the number of postings I add to this blog. :)

My goal for this week:

25,000 words

Progress to date:

800 words 1/10/2010
3,000 words 1/12/2010
769 words 1/13/2010 (ugh, I hate when I write less than 1,000)
833 words 1/14/2010
1,500 words 1/15/2010
1,158 words 1/16/2010


8,060/25,000 for week of 1/10/2010-1/16/2010....not bad, but could be better