Updates

[Update] August 2017

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Hey all!

First, thanks for being a part of this first month of blogging! All of you following me here on the site and over on Facebook are such a huge encouragement, and you mean the world to me. I’m definitely looking forward to keeping up with the blog and the stories and seeing what comes of it! Other than that, I just wanted to give you all a quick update on what I’ve been working on the past month, and what’s coming up next.

So! July!

Aside from The Ethan Lindsay Job and Wisp Night, I’ve also been working on the third chapter of my rewrite of The Seven. It’s been going a little slower than I’d like, though I’m definitely making progress and I think it’s getting to the point where the chapter is doing what it needs to be doing to set the stage for the rest of the story. Because of the size of the cast, there’s a lot of introductions that need to be done, preferably in a way that also sets the scene for later as well– you know, basic good writing– which keeps proving a little more difficult than I expect it to, mostly because I have too many ideas and haven’t yet figured out how to narrow them down.

That being said, I think I’m getting close, and once I get this chapter squared away, I’ll have six of my main characters all set to go, and my current idea is to have number seven show up a bit later anyway. This means that I should be able to start digging into more of the plotty and exciting bits shortly, which I am definitely looking forward to. Everything’s better when you get to slay monsters!

For August, I’ll continue chipping away at The Seven, and I expect to be able to finish chapter three and get at least a little way into four as well. All the battling with it last month has left me with a much clearer idea of the beginning/middle/end sequence for the chapter, and once that gets figured out the actual writing tends to flow a bit easier. So, I’m hopeful!

I’ll also keep following the same schedule of “Friday blog, new short story every other week,” with the next story due early next week, so keep an eye out for that! I’ve got ideas for another fantasy standalone and potentially another Tanner and Miranda adventure, both of which have me excited. Additionally, my grand adventure to Armenia begins at the end of this month, so we’ll see how that balancing act goes. Ha.

That’s it for now! Thanks again for coming by, and please be sure to let me know if you’ve got any questions or comments by posting below! I’ll be back on Friday with a new blog. Until then, all the best and have a fantastic week!

Musings

[Blog] Battering Rams

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I am a huge proponent of brute forcing your way through writer’s block.

Some days, you just want to write. The words are coming and you like them and the story is unrolling before you in all its glory. Some days, you think it’s going to work out like that, only to have it all melt away as soon as you put your hands to the keyboard. You know the ideas are still there. They’re just out of reach. And then there’s the days when you feel like this whole writing business is absolutely nuts, you’re a hack, and why did you ever think you could do it?

And then, sometimes, that last kind of day stretches out into that kind of week. Or even that kind of month– or longer. Writing anything feels like pulling teeth, or pushing on a locked door, or trying to convince your cat that she should come cuddle with you. It’s awful, and it makes you wonder whether it’s worth all the trouble.

Which brings us back to the battering ram method of pushing through writer’s block. As a little background, I do my best to write two hundred fifty words six days a week. I can tell you right now that there are days that sitting down and doing it is the last thing I want to do. Maybe my mind is just wandering. Maybe everything I do manage to get onto the page feels trite and shallow. Maybe the last ten ways I’ve tried to start a scene have fallen flat, and I’ve already got a sinking feeling that Attempt No. 11 is going to do the exact same thing.

The only reliable way I’ve found to get myself past all that is to just sit and write. I can’t guarantee the quality. I can’t guarantee that the scene will suddenly sublimate into something wonderful. I certainly can’t guarantee that it will get easier to write on any given day. But I can guarantee that I keep writing. Despite the horrid, stuck feeling and everything that comes with it, I still have raw words that can be used, formed, and edited. Or I’ve crossed another narrative path off the list, which means I’m one try closer to finding the one that will actually work.

I can hardly take credit for this idea, of course. Many writers far better than myself have said something similar many times before; in particular, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, and Agatha Christie come to mind. It’s also, more or less, the concept behind NaNoWriMo. And I suppose, in some ways, it takes some of the mystery out of writing, making it seem more like mining than anything else.

But that’s okay. Because writing is like mining, and there’s a lot of dirt and much less ore. It takes work– hard work– to create. And I’m not the first person to have that thought either.

Musings

[Blog] A Tip of the Hat

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When I was a kid, my family lived about twenty minutes out of town. We drove in for school and church, of course, but the distance limited most other trips to few and far between. Among other things, this meant that when I was introduced to text-based role-playing in the mid 2000’s, I took to it with a wild abandon.

I learned how to role-play on a Redwall fansite called Terrouge. It was part ezine and part forums, and in addition to being the place where I met a number of my dearest friends, it’s at least partially to thank (or perhaps blame) for my love of writing. It certainly did nothing to dissuade it.

For those who aren’t familiar, text-based role-playing (or RPing for short) is when you and a bunch of other people make up your own characters and proceed to write about all the trouble they get into together. At least, that was how we did it on Terrouge and the Vulpine Imperium, our sister site.

Being a pair of literary minded communities, we did it pretty well, too.  Our posts were often long and descriptive. Our characters were usually fun and complicated. We were hardly perfect, of course, and a lot of us were young and still learning to write well, but you can only spend so much time playing with words before you figure out a thing or two.

I haven’t RPed seriously for a few years now, and most of the sites I used to haunt have gone quiet or faded altogether. Visiting the ones that are still up feels a little like going back to your hometown and finding that the house you grew up in has been abandoned. Your family is still around and doing well, and so are the friends you grew up with. It’s just the house that time left behind to turn grey and gather dust. The quiet is a little eerie and a little sad, but only because the memories are so rich and vibrant.

Musings

[Blog] Hello!

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Hey everyone!

Before I say anything else, thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet! I have so many stories to tell, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you all– but more on that later. For now, let me just tell you a little about this blog-site-thing and what you’re likely to find here.

Basically, this is where you can find my writing, updates on my writing, and thoughts about writing (and stories) in general. Also, nerdy segues, because I can tell you right now that I won’t be able to help myself, and I wouldn’t want to anyway. Life’s too short to not be nerdy.

So, writing! The stuff I post here will be mostly short stories. Some will be completely self-contained, others might fit into a bigger universe, but all of them will be complete stories in their own right. From time to time, I’ll also put up excerpts and teasers from whatever novel I happen to be working on.

Speaking of novels… this is also where you’ll find information on my various projects. At any given time, I probably have at least three longer pieces in various stages of development. If you want to know what those are and how they’re going, you can find out here!

As for the bloggier bits, that could be anything from talking about the things that get me feeling creative to the most recent books I’ve read. And everything in between. It’s also where I’ll post various life updates and thoughts on any adventures I manage to fall into, which seems to be happening more and more as of late.

Anyway! That’s the shape of the beast. Thanks again for stopping by; it really does mean the world to me. If you’re interested in keeping tabs on my shenanigans, both fictional and otherwise, be sure to follow me here or to like me on Facebook. And that’s all for now! Time for me to go convince the jumble of words in the next document over that life will be better as a coherent story.

Until next time!