Just stopping by to say…

I WON!!!
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NaNoWriMo Day 4

I’m very actively sprinting at the moment, so I’m also sprinting this post in between sprinting sessions. Literally typing this while keeping my eye on the clock.

I did, after all, promise a more substantial post today.

What I didn’t count on, though, was someone breaking into our house last night. Fortunately, most of our valuables were away from the break in area, so they only took one laptop and a camera, but it meant we spent hours making sure everything was alright, dealing with our insurance company, and the police. (Need the police case number to claim for theft.)

So yeah, yet again, I’m behind.

Although, if I’m saying behind… I actually mean I’m behind my self-imposed goal. At the beginning of the month, I decided to push myself this NaNo, so I’m not only going for 50k. I’m going for 150k.

When I’d started, I felt a bit frazzled and intimidated. So much so, I completely forgot about my IWSG post on Wednesday. (Sorry, Alex!)

I’m kinda glad, though. Because instead of spending time on writing out all my worries (and giving them air to breathe), I knuckled down and wrote. Got 4k on Wednesday, 5.4k yesterday, and I’m at 4k now and aiming for 2k more.

In other words, as of right now (which might change in two minutes), I’ve written over 14k words since Tuesday. To get to 150k, I should be at 20k, but you know what? If my word count ends up over 100k this month, a few thousand words here or there won’t be the end of the world.

The amazing thing is… Right now I’m not feeling it.

I’m breaking up my writing into two or three sessions and writing. And more than that, I’m excited about where the story is going.

I mean, I’m always excited about The War of Six Crowns, but in these past few days, I’ve laughed, cried, begged someone not to do something stupid, and saw a little bit of hope. (Which I take to mean the readers will be going on one hell of a ride.)

Also, I’ve now written out 25 of (currently planned) 80 chapters. You’d think I’d feel a bit bleak to be hitting the middle, but really… these past five chapters were just perfect for opening up my way to the end. They just added another deep level of emotional complexity to what’s going on, which will carry through, not only to the end, but even into the rest of the series.

So yeah. I’m stoked.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How are you doing? 

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Hey everyone. Before we get into my post, please do go give Linda Baten Johnson’s guest post some love. Please and thank you!

So, as the name suggests, today is day 2 of NaNoWriMo. Yesterday didn’t go so well for me. I started off with waking up late, and then just never seemed to quite catch up. I came in just under par.

Today’s another story. I’ve already written 4k, and am trying to see if I can write 2k more before I go sleep.

So… I’m going to keep today’s post short and sweet. I really just don’t have time to put my thoughts together, but I’ll be back on Friday with something better. Promise!
How’s NaNo going for you? 

Loud Reading and Preparing for Tomorrow

I’ve just finished yet another round of edits to The Vanished Knight. It had started innocently enough. I wanted to read it and the sequel The Heir’s Choice so that I could actually be sure I didn’t screw up anything continuity wise.

But as little as five sentences in, I discovered that I’m not satisfied with the way some of my description was written. Chalk it up to the two years’ worth of experience after the last time I edited TVK, but I just didn’t feel as happy with it as before. Something felt off.

So I did the one thing I KNOW I should always do, yet always omit from my process. I read the entire thing (all 250 odd pages) out loud.

It’s a tedious and surprisingly tiring thing to do, but I broke the book into five 50 page sessions and read out loud. It’s amazing how much I picked up this way that passed me, my editor and two proofreaders by back when I published the book.

Which goes to show you that using a publisher definitely doesn’t ensure that the quality’s better than self publishing. If the book had stayed published, I probably wouldn’t really have tried to edit it again.

Anyhow. It’s done now, which is good. Tomorrow I can start with The Heir’s Choice. I’ll probably continue spending about an hour and a half each evening reading out loud. It’s a nice length to work on, because it means I stop just before my concentration starts to wander.

Of course, that won’t be the only thing I’ll be doing this month. I’ve got a few other goals as revealed this past Friday and then I also have A to Z Challenge. Twice. On top of that, I also have another exciting announcement, but I’ll probably wait with that one a bit, until I have more information. I do think it’ll be a great step forward for my writing career, though, so watch this space.

In the meantime, it’s 09:13 PM, so I think I’m going to turn in. Want to get back into the habit of waking early to get some writing in before work starts. Wish me luck!

Are you also mentally preparing for Camp NaNo and/or the A to Z Challenge? Are you turning in early tonight or waiting for the clock to strike twelve?

Three things I liked about Brandon Sanderson’s Pep-talk

It’s so funny really. Pretty much ever since the incident of the light, things have been happening. Big things, small things. Nice things… shit things. The strange thing about this, though, is that it’s as if there’s one theme to all of it.

PROGRESS.

Yes, after spending most of this year with wheels spinning, things are happening. And whether they’re good or (almost bone-crushingly) bad, it feels like all of it is heading somewhere. Almost like all my blessings have been dammed up somewhere, and now they’re flowing over.

Yes. Even though there have been some really bad moments. Especially last week. And no. This isn’t me putting a bright picture on things. Not after I came to this realization.

This isn’t to say that everything that’s happened this year has been undone. But that pin-prick of light I’d been glimpsing down the tunnel all this past year does seem to be growing. Which is telling me that set-backs aside, I’m moving forward more than anything else.

Then I read this NaNo Pep-talk today (see, I’m still in the writing related zone), and thought that it might encourage you all as well. Go ahead and read. I’ll wait.

Back? Good.

So the things I adore about this pep-talk:

1) To know that Brandon Sanderson used to struggle to sell books. It just makes me feel like publishing really is just a matter of luck and not giving up.
2) Knowing that, no matter how long we’ve struggled to get ahead, everything can change for the better with zero prior notice. (Which was nice, because I actually experienced a version of this at work today.)
3) Just generally thinking that although I’m still to (re-)publish anything this year, I might be working on the one that garners me a million readers. Nice thought, isn’t it?

And that’s really the beautiful thing about life. Yes, things can be difficult, but lucky breaks often seem to come from nowhere. We only have to keep going so that we can be there when they happen.

Anyone else catch a lucky break lately?

An (Delayed) Update Day

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH I KNEW I FORGOT SOMETHING.

It’s a terrible thing when the thing being forgotten is my own bloghop. I profusely apologize!

There’s a good excuse though. Two, actually.

See, you remember I mentioned that we’re importing 5000 pairs of shoes? Yesterday we had to start unpacking them. I did this while riddled with flu yet again. So we started at nine, got home at seven.

I ate.

I showered.

I crashed.

And it took me to almost noon today to realize I completely forgot I was supposed to post. It’s a disguised blessing for you all, though. Because after I ate and showered, I wasn’t all that… how shall I put it? Rational.

But here I am on just enough pain meds (hurts to swallow and… well… breathe. (Yes, I’m pretty sure it’s just the flu.))  to actually function, so let me update you.

What I achieved in October:

1) I finished drafting the sequel to The Heir’s Choice. 
2) I managed to pretty much do nothing writing-wise for the rest of the month.
3) Unless you count critiquing. I critiqued three books.

My writing break did bring the writing-lust back, though, which means I decided to join in for NaNoWriMo this year. I probably won’t win, though, because I have a ton of stuff to get done.

1) Edit The Heir’s Choice and Birds vs Bastards once the last of my critiques come in.
2) Sort out formatting. Screw it. Hire someone to do the formatting for me.
3) Write 50k words. Write a nice respectable amount of words and see if I can finish any more of my rough drafts.

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year? My user name is iceangel if we haven’t buddied up, yet.

I should have known I can’t stay away…

If you’ve been asking me lately if I’d join in with NaNoWriMo this year, the answer was a most emphatic no.

But here’s the thing. 
As I mentioned before, I kicked back from really writing anything this month. 
Which means my muse is now kicking my butt. I really really want to write again. And since it’s a few days from NaNo, I might as well sign up. 
Now, I’m not stupid. I know that the odds of me winning is next to nothing. But that hardly matters. It’s the writing that’s the thing for me. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to try and write every day, and then just see how far I get. 
Because really, there’s one more rough draft I really want to finish this year. NaNo might just be what I need to get it done. 
Anyone else joining NaNo against their better instincts? 
Before I go, I just want to give a shout-out to my blogging buddy C.D. Coffelt: 

Mage Revealed

Book Two of The Magic Withheld series

Struck with enough malevolent Spirit to turn him into a raving beast of a man, Bert Reese fights to remain human. Alone, he walks a slender path between sanity and madness. Then, an unlikely source enters his life to help—one of the now-hated mages.

But Ashleigh is different and calms his butchered senses. Her fierce nature is the only rock that stands between him and the crevasse that is beast. In all ways, she walks beside him toward a new beginning. But at the end of their journey lies the one who used Spirit against him. Questions arise; did Tiarra, head of the Imperium, lose her magic, die, or simply give way to the new order? Or, like a spider, does she wait for a mage to blunder into her web?

Forced on him without a care for his humanity, Bert is the mage who should not exist, born with a different kind of magic. 

And the gates of Hell are no match for the magic he wields.

Author C.D. Coffelt’s world of magic started in Wilder Mage with the words “The earthquake wasn’t his fault. Not this time.” It continues in Mage Revealed, the second book of the three-part series. Watch the book trailer on YouTube.

Excerpt from Mage Revealed

Energy slithered around him, encased him and…

Bonded.

All the elements slammed into him at once filling him like a bursting dam, sloshing into a maelstrom of Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Spirit. Magic filled him, cascaded into every pore of his skin until there was nothing left that was of his essence.

He raised his arms. “I am a wizard,” he said.

His words echoed, like the roll of a bass drum in an empty coliseum.

From his fingertips, fluid lightning forked and shot into the empty sky. A violent whirlwind as tall as he wanted it to be caught up a whirl of leaves. A roar of Fire sprang from the palms of his hands, crowned his head. And Spirit, the silvery element waited for his command, to charge into any foray he so chose.

He turned to the panting women, frozen in the grip of panic and fright.

“I am a wizard,” he said again.
C.D. Coffeltlives outside Skidmore, Missouri with a bemused husband and way too many cats. She is a member of the Missouri Writers Guild. But despite that bit of conventionality, she adores all things fantasy with a special love for urban and epic.

With a passion for good writing and Doritos as companions, locating Middle-Earth on a dusty road in rural Missouri wasn’t difficult. All it took was a little Magic, hours of reading, and an overactive imagination.

She blogs as Huntress on www.spiritcalled.blogspot.com, Facebook, Twitter, and her writer’s critique site, www.unicornbell.blogspot.com.

Find her books at Amazonand Barnesand Noble.