State of the Writer

IMG_0708So yea, I’ve been having a year of procrastination. A lot has to do with my health and medications. A few months ago my doctors thought it would be a good idea to try out medications for cholesterol and gout. It didn’t end well. It also didn’t help my writing brain.

Today I want to make an accounting and let you know what I have on my writing plate. No excuses.

Since January, I decided to take down “Shira: Hero of Corsindor,” and do an edit. What happened is that the edit turned into a complete rewrite. I’m almost halfway through with this project. I actually printed out the entire thing. I changed the name to Hero of Corsindor. Yes, the one in the Tuesday Snippet. I am working on this one daily and my deadline for the rewrite is September 30, 2018.

Also in January, I took a course with Dean W. Smith called “Depth in Writing.” It actually turned my writing upside down. Whenever I take one of his courses, I feel like my skin is being ripped off and it takes me a few weeks to get that thick skin back. I’ve taken four of his courses now and I have come out a better writer each time. I would like to be more prolific.

These are the projects that are in orbit, waiting to land:

  1. Xandra Peel – a story of a hybrid ogre-human who survives both people and Fae in a post-apocalyptic world.
  2. Unlicensed Sorceress – third book in the Hilda’s Inn world. Hilda has proven she has elemental powers and gets training in a highly political environment.
  3. I’m not dead, yet – non-fiction memoir of the last ten years of surviving WG/GPA, thyroid cancer, and Stage IV kidney disease
  4. The third book in the EJ Hunter world – I don’t know why but this one wants to percolate in my subconscious. The captured boy in the first book wants a voice.

There is a few more on my list, but I am not listing them here. I want to finish these first.

In my short story offerings, I am writing more “Green Knight Terraforming Company” stories. I am going to write more shorts as warm-ups.

One things I have learned is that saying I am going to do something, and actually doing it are two different things. So my next goal is to write every day, even if it is only a sentence or two.

I have no excuse. Even if I find myself on a dialysis machine, I can write during those two or more hours.

I was asked recently if I could see a future. I answered, no. There are too many health variables in my life. I do know two things: I want to finish what I write, and I want to care for my dog. At this time– that has to be enough.

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Re-doing “She Called It, Wolf”

She called it wolf cover 2017 This year I wanted to release book two and a short novel in the EJ Hunter series. When I went back to look at “She Called It, Wolf” and I could tell it was a first novel. I wrote it in 2009 for Nanowrimo. I also was on some heavy chemo at the time so I couldn’t see the mistakes. Of course, it was a first novel. I did say that, right?

First I knew as I read the book that I had made a mistake in using third person. I completely changed it over to first person. It made the book more immediate and personal, which made me write description that fit with the characters.

I hadn’t understood when I first wrote this book how description can mirror the temperament of the character. It seems obvious now. When I wrote description before I had struggled with how to connect it with the story. I relate it to my own life. Sometimes I see rain and thunder as exhilarating and other times I see rain and thunder as depressing. Sometimes the rain will hit against the window and shake my apartment to the point that I wonder if someone is trying to get in. I know that it’s fanciful.

I had to do the same for my characters. Also I took this to a friend who had been an typist and editor in another lifetime. Even though I have an English degree and did very well–thank you very much– I still didn’t see my own mistakes. I lost “the” and “to” and misused other prepositions. Plus since I changed this from third person to first person, I was having problems changing “her” to “my.” Apparently, I read it the right way and left the wrong pronoun.

So thank you Doris Mace for looking through my manuscript and finding those little, but annoying errors.

The story has the same basic plot. What changed was that I was able to pull it together better. It is a more interesting read in my humble opinion.

Now I have to do the same for book two in this series. Editing seems to take longer than the first draft.  Plus I still have these mind glitches. Thank goodness for the help I have received with this one.

I’m hoping to have this out by October or earlier. Also crossing my fingers tightly because I want to get the other two on my list done by the end of the year.

 

I’m in the writing chair

8a5d8-chickadee-2 After a little Facebooking, I am now squarely in my writing chair. I have a cup of coffee setting in front of me. The dog is asleep in her bed next to my feet.

Thank you Doris for reminding me that I need to write. Since the surgery, I now know that I need a thyroid hormone to keep stable. I’ve learned that I am anemic. So the last week I have been eating mushrooms, liverwurst, and Vit. C. I’ve noticed an increase in my energy. It’s not as much as I would like, but I am not falling asleep as soon as I sit down.

As an early birthday and Christmas present rolled into one, I bought myself a Kindle Oasis on Prime Day. At first I wasn’t sure if this little square thing would be comfortable in my hands. It was lightweight, but sometimes lightweight means badly engineered. I am happy to say that it is more comfortable to use than any of the prior Amazon Kindles, including the fire tablets. I can read inside, outside, and upside down. I can read sitting up or lying down.

Since I got it I have been bingeing. So that is my other excuse– I needed to fill the well. With all of the sickness and the thyroid business, my creative energy has been on the low side.

I hoped that music would help. Let’s just say I jumped into another person’s monkeys and circus. It ended badly for me. I am now staying away from circuses that I don’t initiate. I have to keep learning that lesson.

One thing that I noticed is that when I go towards anything other than writing, I head for another disaster. Since music was what led me to the last one, I now know that I need to keep that side of me satisfied. I have decided to start back with the community choir at the end of August. It will keep me pretty busy and I will have that performing need itched as well. This choir does performances twice a year.

Plus I will write. I am back to business again today. Time for me to make goals again… and to structure my day. I work better when I have some structure.

I noticed this with poetry when I was working in that medium. When I worked in structure, the poems would shine. It took a lot more work to shine outside a structure. So if I structure my time, it will allows my mind the freedom to soar.

Also, I will have to cut my social some. I am really enjoying being around certain people here. But, the more I socialize, the less I write. I wish I knew how to balance better.

Anyway– since I am finished with my “true confessions,” I am going to work on “She Called It, Wolf,” and very soon I will send it off to my reader.

Raise a glass of cheer

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CC0 Public Domain  Pixabay LunaSeaArt

Even with two to three appointments weekly, I have been able to finish a book that has been in the works for a year. Last year I had made a goal to write four books. I wanted to publish all four in the same year, but I got sidetracked.

But, this is no time for excuses. It is a time to be happy that once again, I have been able to finish a novel and despite my illness, I have been able to write coherently. So today I am celebrating the finish.

There will be other goal posts and other finishes. I started on the third book in the Hilda’s Inn series. I have one book in edit for EJ Hunter, plus I am re-editing She Called It, Wolf. Also there is third in that series that came to me in a dream. So I keep writing.

I counted the novels I have finished since 2010–seven novels and approximately eight novellas and short stories. It’s been an interesting run. I can see the difference in my writing from the first one “Shira, Hero of Corsindor” to the present one “Dragon Boy.” I am sure that I could stretch more in my writing skills as I continue.

So where do I get my ideas? I don’t know. I just look in a direction and try to understand the character. Then I try to write the motivations and actions to the best of my ability. I have taken writing classes. Dean W. Rusch actually gave me the most practical instructions in how to make my writing more real.

I sincerely hope that reading will stay. That imagination will never go out of style.

* * *

Here is my spiel for Dragon Boy:

dragonboy2016So who or what is Davi Dracson?

If you’re down on your luck, come to Hilda’s Inn for a game of dice and cheap ale. The hundred-year-stew has been stewing for a hundred years and the fire never burns out.

Except Hilda’s Inn is under new management, and Hilda is on the run with Davi, a dragonling. There will be dwarfs, ogres, dragons, and magical trinkets between Delhaven and Koenigstadt, the king’s city.

Don’t forget that the woods are not a safe place–the Draugr is lurking and
hungry. And, he has a taste for magic.

 

A wander through my mind

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CC0 Public Domain. DasWortgewand

Paper, thoughts, and little strips of memories are strewn over all available flat surfaces in my writing room. On one table, I have the bits and pieces of material for sewing. For the first time in two months, I have had time to let my mind wander. Who am I? Why am I here? What am I doing in this tiny apartment with a little black dog for a companion?

When I was twelve almost thirteen one of my mother’s great uncles died, leaving her a library full of original books that ranged from classics to pulp fiction. I was introduced to Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. I read stories of men and even women who ventured into outer space and explored worlds. This taste of the fantastic led me to Andre Norton and her Witch Worlds.

In my deepest memories and emotions, I wanted to travel. I wanted to see new worlds and I wanted to see planets who had double suns or double moons. Even with these ambitions, my life kept coming back to the world– the one everyone else had created. When I found out that only NASA (and the Russians) had space programs, I wanted to be a part of it. Of course, it didn’t work out that way. I had neither the money nor status to get an education. No one was interested in educating a white woman whose public education only extended to the seventh grade.

Still I had hoped that we had walked on the moon, so our governments couldn’t put that genie in the bottle. But they did. When I turned 40, I lost hope– and became very ill. For years I was out of my mind from the meds and the disease. Thank god, for my late-hubby who was my caretaker and my support.

I had to turn my ambitions to something else. I started to write. My only hope was that I could populate the world with my ambitions to travel and see new things. My hope was that I could find new worlds in my imagination. Ironically, I wrote fantasy better than sci-fi.

So my dark secret? I envy you– there are at least two private companies making space craft and are looking to the stars. There are probably more that are planning to make the attempt. It is sad that our country has to use Russia for transportation to the Space shuttle.

So ask yourself– Why are we still earthbound?

Here comes the sun

DSC00632 It has been a wild ride this last month. This weekend my brother and nephews (a few honorary nephews) helped move the last of my stuff into my new apartment. This includes my tables, chairs and recliner. I have boxes above my eyeballs in the living room and gradually I will be opening them and putting them away.

I thought I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff, but obviously I have more than I expected. So I will continue to wean until I get down to one-person land again. I still miss Otto and always will.

Foxy is settling in. She is having to share her doggy land with other chihuahuas. I was told that there is a doggy park just down the road. When I am more settled, I’ll take her there. It was great to see an almost 80 year old man, walking with a walker, and a dog walking by his side. Almost everyone here has a support dog.

I want to mention the help and encouragement I received to get through all of this trauma that seemed to be following me around this month. I had some friends who would take me away from the stress and either feed me or take me to the movies. These breaks really helped me to refocus on what I needed to do next.

Also I want to thank my brother who supported me all the way especially when I needed to get the heavy stuff moved. Almost everything is too heavy for me to lift anymore.

To Jolie who contacted me and offered to help with the cleaning. I couldn’t have finished all of that yesterday without her help. She also showed me that the cleaning I had been doing as I packed actually made the last of the cleaning easier to do. In my mind it was a monster and she reduced it to a mouse.

So I still have a lot to do with unpacking. I am stiff and sore today so I think I will take a break from it. I am setting up my writing room again. I feel like I’m home.

It’s been a month

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Pixabay Amber Avalona (Public Domain) https://pixabay.com/en/users/AmberAvalona-1512238/

I’ll start with an apology. I can’t believe that it has been this long since I have pontificated on health, writing, and/or my dog. It’s been a wild ride lately. Near the end of my day, I get a low-grade fever and then in the morning, I am fine again.

I have been doing QiGong, a moving meditation, for centering. In many ways it is reminiscent of the first time my kidneys failed, except the pain is not as great and I am more hydrated. In other ways, I am not quite sure if I am imagining symptoms.

When I was first ill in 2003, my symptoms were so over the top that Otto and I knew that something was very very wrong. It’s not so clear-cut today. As a good friend said to me this weekend, “You knew it would happen.”

Yes, I am not sad that I can see the slide. I am ready for it. I just wanted to do so much more before I was too sick and too tired to continue.

But I procrastinate.

Dragon Boy is 80 percent edited and will be ready for readers soon. (Second in the Hilda’s Inn series). I have the second in the EJ Hunter series done except for the first edit. I have a lot of other books on the burner, waiting for me to put my butt in the chair and write.

Plus I have been reading about remote viewing, aliens, and hominids. I can just see one of my future stories with a Bigfoot remote viewing aliens and trying to get the message out to normal folks. Would a Bigfoot have to shave to fit in with our society? Damn, there is enough tall people nowadays that they could probably even get a job. Obviously my muse is chewing on this one right now.

What has been helping me as I watch my health slide is QiGong. I feel the energy in my hands, torso, and feet as it travels through my body. I try to breath as one. I work on loving kindness meditation and now I have people tell me that it is lovely to see me smile again.

So–

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be safe.
May you be at ease.