Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

Time to look at 2012 and how it went.

It has been an interesting year full of good and bad for the world and everyone in it. I had quite a few changes go on during the year but luckily not too many very bad things.

Timeline of 2012 in blog posts reflection
January - New Year and Goals
4 blog posts during the month: progress report, goals, pick what I read, worldbuilding magic

February - Writing or Editing
1 post: novel writing month or editing writing month

March - Worldbuilding
1 post: gender roles in worldbuilding

April - A to Z blog Challenge
27 posts: won't name them all, went through alphabet for blogfest

May - Prep for June
1 post: camp nano

June - Moved
1 post: goals

July - Settling In
2 posts: July goals, progress

August - Still Settling
1 post: August goals

September - NaNo Thoughts
3 posts: the one, nanowrimo ideas, novels chosen to prep

October - NaNo Prep
1 post: nanowrimo

November - NaNoWriMo and New Job
3 posts: why nano, crazy word counts, December

December - End of Year Goals
1 post - December goals

Past Goals Revisited

I had many goal posts and progress reports as some months that's about all I posted. But now it's time to look at the whole year and the goals I made back at the beginning of January.

2012 goals

- Finish at least two first drafts of started novels: Angel/Demon, Thomas/Kyle, OttoHahn in E Minor or Lighting the Wall.
- Edit two novels.
- Be ready to submit to an agent by the end of the year.
- Reading 50 books
- Keep track of all fiction written, word count wise

How did I do?
- forgot to keep track of word count as of February
- read 47 books thanks to online manga
- editing turned out more a challenge and took longer to do the notes and get started on changes so both the edit goal and submit goal didn't work out
- didn't finish any novels but came close with a brand new one I started in nanowrimo
- wrote many flash fiction scenes, couple chapters in novels listed above but also in 2010 nano novel, wrote 165k in new novel (which will be 2 novels in rewrite) for nanowrimo this year and made some progress in non-writing goals that include moving out on my own and finding a new job.

2013 goals and January goals will be next.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Goals 2012

Wow. It's December already. The year 2012 is almost over and done with, hard to believe such but the year did go by very fast. 2012 has brought many changes and some stagnation (sorry blog, I didn't mean to ignore you). But I'm ready to finish the year with a flurry of activity as I prepare for 2013!

November went well for me. I wrote 165,000 words in a novel, that in rewrites will become 2 novels. I also started a new job. Working 30-40 hours a week now, which is a relief because I was stressed financially for all of summer. Things are getting better and I will still have some time to dedicate to writing, editing, blogging and reading. I have some goals that I will post for 2013 towards the end of the month as I'm getting together timelines for the next steps in my life because OMG, 2013 is almost here. I have a class reunion I have to decide about going to or not, both my parents are turning 50 so need to plan events for that, and yeah, other survival stuff along with how to get a novel ready to submit to agents.

But that can wait. For now, it's still 2012.

December Goals

Edit TT and SG (mutant novels, one YA and other is adult)
Read 2 books
Post 1-2 times on each blog
Finish AF (NaNo novel)
Review and other WDC stuff

What are your goals for December?
Are you ready for 2012 to end?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

December Approacheth

With December around the corner, Saturday, and that marking the end of the epic 2012 National Novel Writing Month, I feel now is a good time to post what December will bring for me. I may post this on both blogs (so sorry if you follow both and try to see the new content only to find you read the same thing twice). This year has been a pretty epic year for me with nanowrimo because the novel I thought was one book turned out to be 2 so the end word count is going to be over 150k by the time I have the very rough first draft done. And most of it will have been written in November. Crazy sounding, I know.

So, after such a large word count and spending so long on the one novel, what happens next for me? The answer is a resounding: Edit!

*pauses for dramatic effect* or is it affect, bah, either, it's nanowrimo still and I don't care which is right. ;-) lol

Okay, now you can breathe a heavy sigh of relief. When I say edit, I don't mean I'm going to be editing the novel I may or may have not finished yet from NaNoWriMo 2012. In fact, I'm not even editing/rewriting the novels from 2011 or 2010 NaNoWriMo.

Nope, I'm going to edit a novel I started writing during NaNoWriMo 2007 since I've rewritten it before. Okay, that one might be a rewrite as opposed to an edit because I need to change it from present tense to past tense, but bleh, I'm calling it an edit because I'm not changing content really. I'm just changing from "he sees the new boy" to "he saw the new boy". Same stuff minor, time consuming change.

I'm also going to edit the novel I write 65k of during March in 2010. It hasn't had a heavy rewrite as the other one because the novel ended up at 90k and the main content I'm happy with enough that I'm going to not change much in what happens, just work on polishing it. I will be focusing on things like showing instead of telling (I am really bad at this), taking out some of the passive voice, and fixing minor details (like changing one of the minor character's names because I have a Michael and a Mitchel, tsk).

So, in an unofficial sense, December will be my novel editing month because the only reason I let myself start another new novel (I still have like 5 I'm in the middle of writing) was that all first drafts would be put aside as soon as November ended so I could devote time to editing.

I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous about this edit because it's a new stage for me. Even though I have been working on writing for about 7 years, I've edited for newspaper and for a small publisher, I have never done a full edit on one of my own novels. I've editing some scenes and short stories, edited chapters to submit for critique to a group, but I have not done a novel edit. Course, it took a while to get a novel that was not only rewritten but ready for edits and I kept starting new ones but that's besides the point. This marks a new stage because ideally, as soon as I'm done with edits I will have something I can have a reader check out. I won't send it to agents right away even though my dad thinks I'm stalling with this edit (*waves hi in case family members see this post*) but I will be a big step closer. A giant step even. Because soon as I've worked out the edits, had readers check it out, then do another pass after a minor break where I can work on finishing one of those already started novels, then I can try to submit to agents.

My goal is to have the query sent out some time in 2013, so I have my work cut out for me. I figure, if I can write 150k in a month of hectic mess, I can managed to spend a few months getting the edits on more prepared novels. And to be honest, I need a timeline. So, hmm... What the heck. I turn 29 near the end of August. Sounds like a good goal, 9 months from now in fact.

Now I have a timeline and a goal. I want to have at least one of the mutant novels ready to send out queries by my birthday. And now you all know and I will have to work hard to follow through on my goals. Yay for incentive!

So, that is my plan. And yes, I promise to also try and post a few times a month at least, because I do have more to say on writing and on my writing, so there will be more blog posts in the near future. And there will be book reviews done too because my new plan also includes putting together a weekly schedule and I'm putting in reading time on the list. I need to read and I shall, along with writing and editing. So much to do, I can't wait to start.

What are your plans for December 1st?
How did November go?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Crazy NaNo Word Counts

How do I write more than 100,000 words in a month?
How do I write 50k in 10/11/15 days?

Good questions me, thank you for asking. Since I managed to get 50,000 words this year on day 10 and I'm already at over 90k with still more and month to go, I decided this might be a good blog post to create during one of my Write-or-Die sprint sessions. There are a few things that I can contribute to how I write that much within a short from of time. And those things are:

1. Grabbing the time whenever I can (also for the last two years this has been known as Luck)
- 2010 I ended up losing my job in October and didn't get another for a few months so I had all of November with no job while living at my parents (who are very awesome for all their support). That meant I had a lot of time and is partly how I managed to 50k in 13 days.
- Last year, I had a job but I worked only about 20 hours a week, sometimes slightly less and maybe once like 24 hours. So, even though I had to work (like working thanksgiving morning cause it was a grocery store), I still had a lot of time and still lived at my parents. (I don't have my own kids or a partner so yeah.)
- This year is a little different in that at the beginning of the month I had a job with minimal hours but something happened at the very end of October. I got a job offer. Yay! But oh, writing... So, yeah. The first week I had just the small 12 hour schedule but now I've got my new job and more hours. I now am working 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week. But the key is, I still am finding ways to write, like how I'm writing this blog post which I normally use this sprint to write another part of a scene. I am getting over 3k before I go to work and then whatever I manage to write before bed.
2. Writing Sprints (aka Write or Die!)
Okay, this one is a re-new one. I tried the program back in 2008 online and while it helped a little, I didn't like it. But that was back when to paste it to the word programs it would all end up in a block single paragraph instead of having any spaces but they fixed it. Thank you fixer people! But yes, last year I did do some writing sprints but they were just with some friends in chat and self timed. This year, I'm in a writing group where we get points to taking part in writing sprints and there are official times to do them. They are helping me get my writing done because even on my days off I struggle to get work done at times and more of my writing is getting done during those times because when writing fast I can get about 1400-1800 words in 30 minutes on average. And I can get 7-800 words done in 15 minutes for shorter ones. That adds up fast.

3. A novel that is ready to be written.
This one is a tough one because it's really hard to predict if a novel is ready, at least for me. I have no idea until I start writing whether it will be a really easy one or whether it will be a struggle. Back in 2010 I had never written very much with only one nanowrimo win under my belt then so I made a March writing goal of only 25,000 words for the month. The novel went so well that I wrote 50k in 15 days and 65k for the whole month. Last year's nanowrimo I had one novel reach 99k+ that I haven't even planned to write, just kind of went with it. And the novel I had planned to write and prepped, I only managed to write 25k+ that month (pesky YA). Since my track record with fantasy was 50k in 13 days but my records for Young Adult is more like 14-25k in a month, this year I didn't know what to expect. I certainly didn't think my novel I thought would be maybe 80-100k for the whole story would end up at 90k on day 17, and new predictions are for 150k for the total first draft count. But I had no idea this novel would be that ready (especially since the lack of world building is to the point I'm naming things "something or other"). But I guess it felt ready in the end.

4. Support
- I have some really great friends online when it comes to writing. Granted, I know a few people who absolutely hate NaNoWriMo and a couple who raised their eyebrows at me for writing yet another novel first draft when I have two rewritten books that need editing (and are far closer to being submitted than anything else) but even they are supportive when it comes to my writing. Whether it's friends on Writing.Com, Twitter, Facebook (my grandmother likes my nanowrimo updates on facebook, lol), or in the blogger world. Everyone is great. Thank you to everyone who puts up with me and encourages me during my crazy writing attempts during november.
- I also find that one of the things that helps me to feel motivated and keep going is by helping others. On I have a nanowrimo related group with a forum that I keep updated and try to post some fun things on occasion, like youtube links. I'm in other groups where I am either just a member or I have a specific role where I answer questions and post supportive comments when I see someone is struggling. I also post on my nanowrimo region forums or on the regions facebook group. I try not to sound boasting about my word count number even though I sometimes post my number for others to see because while I may have a ton of words now, I remember what it is like to be on the struggling side. Since I took 3 years to ever make 50k in 30 days and back then I thought writing it in less than 20 days was like, impossible. Crazy how things work out.

5. Caffeine/Sugar
Okay, I might but running out of things to add to my list but I've still got 5 minutes on this writing sprint so why not devote a section to caffeine and sugar! I do drink more coffee during November than any other month. This year it is even more than last year because back then I was in small town Wyoming so no starbucks or any 24 coffee places to go and hang out in to write. I did all my writing from home then, though I did drink some coffee and my eating habits are never very great during nanowrimo. I've had far more fancy coffee drinks this month than I have probably all year with the exception of maybe the month where I had to go to starbucks to get internet when I first moved and didn't have access in my apartment. I also have bought a few treats and such while going to those places (like chocolate pastries or cakepops). So, sugar and coffee help, sort of.

6. Finding What Works For Me!
This is the big one. I have practice writing novels at this point (6th year in nanowrimo and I write all year long off and on) at least that I have a good idea what works for me. It may not work for other people to write fast or to work on more than one novel at the same time, but it's what works for me. It takes times and maybe a few tests, and this isn't set in stone either, it will change and develop over the years. But I allow myself to figure it out and not try to write like others (though I may try suggestions). I know that there is no one way besides the whole "Write" part of it. I find that I'm okay with the "it's allowed to suck" mentality and getting out the words as fast as I can because I know that rewrites and edits are needed. I also know with some novels I go slower and take my time getting them done. I vary and I'm okay with that. Being able to say I write this way and I don't mind even with a couple of the naysayers has really helped me in general.

So, these are some things that help me reach crazy word count goals in a single month.
How are you? ;-)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why I take part in NaNoWriMo

Thanks Sam

Okay, so I totally had the intention to do this epic "Why I do NaNoWriMo" post and to have it scheduled to post on day one of National Novel Writing Month. Yeah ummm *points to date of this post* if you hadn't figured it out by umm knowing what the calendar looks like right now, I will out right state: Epic Fail!

Not only did I not get this post written in time, but I didn't even get it done before I reached 50,000 words. Yeah, I won NaNo already and I haven't written the post on why I take part in the activity in the first place as I had planned. I really did intend to have it written, I promise but well, here we are on day 12 and I'm just now writing it and for the sole purpose of taking part in a half hour sprint when the section of my novel (yeah, i'm still writing after 52k in 10 days) didn't have a section at the moment that was sprint worthy. But that's okay, right? Right. Cause I say so.

But back to the promise I made to myself that none of you knew about but I'm pretending you knew about in order to make my hopefully 2k words in 30 minutes make sense and to get that word count somehow anyways even though it won't count towards my nanowrimo count.... Yeah, I admit that made no sense. The promise! I did start a blog post for my Why I Write for NaNoWriMo topic. I really did. I put in the title, a greeting and a picture of a fish and well, that is as far as I got before November 1st when I started writing.

And for those that wonder why there is a fish at the top of this picture, well it's because of the awesomeness that is Dory from Finding Nemo. She has a saying that goes "just keep swimming" so a close friend of mine gave me the idea that I needed an image with the phrase "just keep writing" and one of my other friends actually made the image for me. Thanks Sam! even though you never read my blog, I'm thanking you twice in this post anyways. So, yeah, now my signature when I do posts on Writing.Com in relation to NaNoWriMo, I have this picture of Dory that says Just Keep Writing and I love it. (just keep swiming, Dory montage) This is another fun thing to look at. I like the picture in part because it says to write but also in part because of her expression. Poor Dory looks so lost and confused but she's encouraging no matter what. So, I look at that picture and say to myself, just keep writing. It must be working because I'm at around 58k right now, and will have 60k before I go to bed tonight.

Now, after that long ramble, back to the topic and maybe even though it seems a little obvious at this point, I will give you all who may or may not even be curious about the answer to the big question of today's post.

Why do I, Dawn Embers, take part in National Novel Writing Month?

Because it's Awesome! and.... because I'm crazy.

That is pretty much the basics of the answer. I love national novel writing month and the strange challenge to try and write 50,000 words in one month even though I do honestly write off and on all year long. There is something great about a community geared event where a large number of writers in combined force get together and reach towards the same goal of writing a novel (well novella but honestly novella writing month just doesn't have the oomph of novel writing month) all at the same time during November. I like that. I come from a small town where if there are 3 people who are writing and willing to admit it out loud, that is saying a lot. Granted it's a little different now that I'm living near Portland which has one big artsy writerly community, but the small town world is what I spent most of my life in and being anti-social, I get most of my socialization from writing outlets like and the NaNoWriMo Site. So, I think it's great.

And well, let's be honest. Anyone who tries to write 50,000 words in a month is a tad crazy. The ones that do it in 15 days are a bit nuts, and well, I'm flat out insane. Last year I did it in 11 days and since I got off to a good start this year even though I'm writing a freaking young adult novel (see vent elsewhere) I managed to keep a steady pace of 5,000 words plus or minus a thousand words a day. Which, is what led me to my 52,000 words in 10 days for 2012. I have no problem admitting that this is completely insane but I will also point out that my goal is to write the whole novel in one month and since my novel is a fantasy (even though it's also young adult) the novel wasn't going to be under 80k. In fact, it was supposed to be 80k but now I'm guessing the end result will be over 120k so I had better keep writing once I get this blog post done.

The real question may be why do I try to take part in it almost every year, with crazy writing goals like 100k or so. Why do I try to write new novels when I have 5 novels that are in first draft stage? Why do I start new ones when I need to edit the novels I wrote the years before? Will I ever do anything with those novels? How can they be any good if I write them within a single month?

Wow, talk about question overload. My apologies for this blog being so long (but hey, 2k words yay!) Okay, I will answer them in sections because I asked the questions and even if only one person cares about the answers, oh well. That's what happens when you follow a blog about writing, especially the one dedicated to my person writing only. hahaha I mean, thank you!

Why do I try to write new novels when I have others going?

Well, I think this is another question where the simple answer is this: I'm just that crazy! Yes, I like to multi-task and I'm used to having many ideas in my head because even when I'm writing one idea, I am often thinking about all my other ideas in my head. When I'm not writing, then I'm daydreaming about all of my ideas, though usually one at a time, in order to keep them fresh and the ones I think about the most, that draw my attention the most are the ones that get written. But those are never single novels, there are several ideas that I think are so great that I want to write them. I don't have a single one idea that I think about the most in comparison to some of the others. I don't have one novel that screams out to me "I'm the one!" Nope. I have several ideas that I love, that I want to be writing, so during most of the year, I work on more than one at a time. Only during these crazy mad dash months (national novel writing month, march novel writing challenge, even a couple failed camp nanowrimo attempts) do I even bother trying to write on a single novel at a time, and even then it doesn't always happen. Last year, for example, while I wrote 125k for the month, I was actually working on more than one novel for that count. I am just that kind of writer. I need more than one story to work on or else I struggle. It's just how I function. Sure, I wish I could be the one that dedicates all their time to a single novel and is able to get the book out and edited within 3 years, but that's not me at this point. Instead, I will continue to work on several novels and get them done some day.

Next question: Why start a new novel when I have so many going?

Besides looking at the above answer, I will admit this is not always the case. Well, for nanowrimo I have a tendency to start a new novel because the "rules" require it be a new novel. However, I do have a group on that is dedicated to people who want to be rebels and maybe write on novels they had already started or that want to write towards a different word count (like 20k in a month, or 30k, or maybe even editing instead of writing that month) and that group is year around. However, for like the March writing challenge I have attempted a few different years, I haven't always started new novels. In fact, the year that I first wrote 50k in less than 30 days was in 2010 when I worked on a novel I was already 15k into before the month started. I had planned to write 25000 words for the month, so that seemed reasonable as it wasn't nanowrimo. But then by the end of day 12 I discovered I was already at 35k and if I wrote 15k in three days, then I would be able to say that I had written 50k in 15 days. So I did. That month I ended up writing 65k total and that novel ended up being my first novel that was long enough, ending at about 90k. I'm going to be editing that novel in December after I finish this crazy version of young adult fantasy that I have going on right now. So, there are times when I don't go crazy and start yet another new novel. I do use month challenges throughout the year to try and get an already started draft done.

Why do new ones instead of editing?

This answer question is a little different than the ones above because I can't be fun and play crazy. The truth is editing is hard and it represents a new stage for me. While I have worked as an editor for a small publishing company and for a college newspaper, and I have edited my writing to a small degree like fixing the glaring typos (which I do during nanowrimo too, I even delete and fix things when I do these silly writing sprints. I'd be so much further if I didn't use that delete button but it would be so much worse too). I have never actually edited a full novel before and as much as I hate to admit it, the thought intimidates me a little but that will end soon. I spent part of this year, in february and beyond getting my edit notes ready for 2 of my novels. The only reason I let myself start writing a new novel this year was on the sole idea that I would get it done and then in December I would not be allowed to work on any new first drafts. That's right, after national novel writing month ends this year, I will not be working on a first draft until 2013, assuming the world doesn't end before then. I am going into editing mode as of December 1st. I will edit my 2 novels, I will make the writing something that is readable for my beta readers and I will start to get ready for the next stage in this crazy writing life. I am going to get something ready to submit to agents. Granted I started one of the novels back in 2007 so it has taken me a really long time but that is one thing that I have found nanowrimo has also helped with. It has proven something to me and that is this one fact:

I can write.

Sure, it's not the greatest thing in the world but I know not to submit my first drafts and hopefully soon I will be able to say this:

I can rewrite.

I can edit.

I can submit.

And I hope you all are still here to cheer me on.

(And yes, if you are curious: When I wrote this blog post using write or die, I managed to write 2k in 30 minutes.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Novel for NaNoWriMo

So, I picked out which novel I was going to write for National Novel Writing Month like... a month ago. I just forgot to post the result on here, oops.

Out of the 3 novels I spent October prepping, I am going to work on:

Aeon/Xan - This is one of those, character doesn't know they are royalty types. Aeon is a mage student who has never had a stable home, doesn't know his parents or even his real name. One year he met Xan and after a fight asked him to protect him but had no idea how much of an impact he made on Xan, who later becomes his warder. Something also affects his memory (need to decide what) so he no longer remembers Xan and may never pass the mage test because it requires memorizing spells. Both him and Xan have wild magic, which is deemed inferior. I started writing this in first person in a notebook, but it was horrible. Recently I wrote a part of the story from Xan's POV and it has deepened the story. (fantasy) series

Yep. Fantasy novel.

Correction: Young Adult Fantasy novel.   eeek!

My track record for nanowrimo is: 
Romance/Erotica: 50k NaNo 2008, 99k+ NaNo 2011
Fantasy: 65k (50k in 15days, march 2010), 51k in 13 days NaNo 2010
Young Adult: 14k NaNo 2007 (took 2 years for first draft to end at 23k, rarely writing on it), 17k (march 2011), 25k+ NaNo 2011

Yeah, for fantasy I'm fine, for book with romance in it in some way, fine, but that pesky young adult part causes trepidation. Can I write a young adult novel in one month? I'm not sure. Then again, maybe this is the year and the book I'll do it, I'll finally write over 50k of a young adult book in one month! I hope.

That and I'm trying to tell myself it's just a fantasy novel even though the characters decided to go YA on me. Yep, just a fantasy novel.

Who is ready for NaNoWriMo?
Anyone else with trepidation?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Novels to Prep for NaNo

I narrowed the list down even more. These are the top three, the ones I will prep during October and hopefully pick one from by November.

Octave's Story - This is a science fiction one that i guess in a little way reminds me of the Matrix in that there is a system to fight against. But none of the "one" nonsense. Groups are chosen to take part in displayed rebellions, and each group has an Other (non-human) but they don't know till after training who the other is on their ship. Octave is an other, and he ends up in the rebellion because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He never intended to rebel but when faced with that or death (and the death of a child) he chose to fight. (sci-fi) stand-alone

Aeon/Xan - This is one of those, character doesn't know they are royalty types. Aeon is a mage student who has never had a stable home, doesn't know his parents or even his real name. One year he met Xan and after a fight asked him to protect him but had no idea how much of an impact he made on Xan, who later becomes his warder. Something also affects his memory (need to decide what) so he no longer remembers Xan and may never pass the mage test because it requires memorizing spells. Both him and Xan have wild magic, which is deemed inferior. I started writing this in first person in a notebook, but it was horrible. Recently I wrote a part of the story from Xan's POV and it has deepened the story. (fantasy) series

Snow White - Male version of Snow White, to a degree. The women are the ones who usually take over the crown because they have magic in the family line. However, Snow is the only child the king and queen had. His powers haven't been discovered yet. Even though his servant still believes in him, he knows many doubt his ability to reign as the realm starts to decay. He leaves the castle in order to travel the land and find a way to be of use. (fantasy) stand-alone

Friday, September 7, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 Ideas

Okay, I was going to do a post on whether or not I should take part in National Novel Writing Month this year but looks like I've already made that decision. So, next is which novel to write. I need to narrow down my ideas to 1-3 of them for the October Prep Challenge I take part in on Last year, I worked on three during the prep and used one of them during NaNoWriMo and wrote another that I hadn't prepared at all.

This year I have a list of 10 ideas to pick from and they are almost all fantasy stories. I must say, I'm surprised I have so many stand-alone ideas on this list. Though that may change. The YA I worked on last year was a stand-alone. I haven't even finished the first draft yet and it has a sequel planned now.

1. Wood Fae MC story. - However, I prepped this novel last year for the challenge, so I probably won't do it. But it's an option as I still need to write the novel at some point. And I need to finish worldbuilding it. (fantasy) stand-alone

2. Octave's Story - This is a science fiction one that i guess in a little way reminds me of the Matrix in that there is a system to fight against. But none of the "one" nonsense. Groups are chosen to take part in displayed rebellions, and each group has an Other (non-human) but they don't know till after training who the other is on their ship. Octave is an other, and he ends up in the rebellion because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He never intended to rebel but when faced with that or death (and the death of a child) he chose to fight. (sci-fi) stand-alone

3. Red - A tale based in part on red riding hood, though the one under the hood is a boy. The part about going to grannies house however is just the start. The wolf is actually a man who uses the grandma to get Red to join him on a plan to change the realm he lives in (not the same one Red was raised in however). He had been looking for an adult but Red's father is no longer alive and he never had the abilities. The riding hood was passed down to Red from his grandfather. (fantasy) stand-alone

4. Djinn - Magic type character, not sure if he relates enough to qualify as a djinn but working on the details. He is under threat constantly, always on the run because as long as he'd on his own he's viewed as a danger to society. Only those that are claimed by Masters are left alone.  His bf is a djinn too and has a Master. He gets tricked into getting a Master too and hates it. But his Master offers him something, a challenge and the prize is his freedom. (fantasy) stand-alone

5. Aeon/Xan - This is one of those, character doesn't know they are royalty types. Aeon is a mage student who has never had a stable home, doesn't know his parents or even his real name. One year he met Xan and after a fight asked him to protect him but had no idea how much of an impact he made on Xan, who later becomes his warder. Something also affects his memory (need to decide what) so he no longer remembers Xan and may never pass the mage test because it requires memorizing spells. Both him and Xan have wild magic, which is deemed inferior. I started writing this in first person in a notebook, but it was horrible. Recently I wrote a part of the story from Xan's POV and it has deepened the story. (fantasy) series

6. Rebellion - has similarities to #2 as came up in the same month. Though this one could be sci-fi or fantasy. MC goes to a city that is under the control of a larger organization and struggling to survive. He helps encourage them to rebel, joining in the fight. But he fails to tell the one he gets close to that he's actually a slave. That his own home was far worse than what they experience and he was sold by his brother. He doesn't even have a real name, just one some tribe gave to him on his journeys. (fantasy or sci-fi) stand-alone

7. Blood Prophesy - This one I'm always hesitant with because they do in some ways have similarities to vampires. Not human, can feed on humans but also on each other. They feed on the energy of humans though it's not as satisfying as actually eating them. Most live on a different realm, however, and have been blocked from invading the human world but the lines are weak and a war is brewing. Female MC (only one this year on list) is one of them, and she is seeking the Prophet, who she was instructed to kill because that would stop the war because the prophet could be used by someone else to break the barrier entirely. But she doesn't know it's a lie. (fantasy/paranormal/ish) series

8. Snow White - Male version of Snow White, to a degree. The women are the ones who usually take over the crown because they have magic in the family line. However, Snow is the only child the king and queen had. His powers haven't been discovered yet. Even though his servant still believes in him, he knows many doubt his ability to reign as the realm starts to decay. He leaves the castle in order to travel the land and find a way to be of use. (fantasy) stand-alone

9. Witch story - MC is a male witch, but his parents struggle to accept that he's gay. He joins the military to get his father's approval and is away fighting in a war when disaster strikes the world. Both him and his boyfriend are in the war when it happens but the war gets forgotten due to bigger problems. They end up having to leave to try and head home, fighting through natural disasters and strange attacks. It's a struggle to survive and he must find the source of the disasters. (fantasy) stand-alone

10. Another magic slave type - This one is based a little off the anime, Black Butler, in that it helped inspire the idea but the premise isn't similar. MC is a magic weilder, almost an adult and managing on his own. He is strong and capable, not worried about getting an owner because he's deemed a lesser since has no formal training. However, he saves a younger boy (mid teens) who had been taken to be sold in slavery, not knowing he was a rich kid. When the boy goes to thank him, the bond is made and he becomes owned by the boy. He struggles in the new world that he is forced into and must protect his Master who has made many enemies. (fantasy) stand-alone

Any thoughts?
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?
What are you writing?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The One

I could have swore I had a topic about this already. Proof why I really need to label my posts better so I can find what I've done before instead of having to read through them all to see. Then again, not sure what to label this post even now.

Many people over the years have mentioned "the one". And I don't mean the one they want to spend their lives with, per say. I mean that one novel, that first one that makes it to agents and editors desks/computers/etc.

For some, that book is easy to pick. Those are the ones that write only one story at a time, at least as far as I can tell. Not being one of them, this is only a guess. Sometimes it's the second, third or tenth one written, but they focus on one at a time. On the other hand, when there are 10 to pick from, how does one decide which will be the one?

I'm not sure.

But I think I've decided which are the ones (yes there are 2) for me. I am certain that the mutant novels will be the ones I sent out first. Granted, that doesn't mean they will be published first because they may never be picked up by anyone. But they are the ones I'm going with first.

Now to get back to editing them.

Do you have "the one" yet?
What is it?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Goals

August is here already.  Year is past half way over, we get closer to 2013 and I'll be 28 by the end of the month. Oh how time does fly. Time to reflect on July goals, whether I was successful in reaching them or not, and to make goals for August.

July wasn't too bad overall, minus the reading goal. I think I had some successes, so here are my results for my July goals.

Read 3 books. - Epic Fail. I read.. 0.

Write Something. - Win. I have written poems, started stories, worked on a couple chapters. I did write something. Yay!
Keep up in June/July/August challenge - So far, so good. I only have one week I didn't write anything in and that week was when I moved and Giselle said that was okay.
Apply for better jobs. - I have applied for at least 20 jobs this month. So, while I only have the one offer that I don't know if I'll take or not, I did apply for better jobs.

My August Goals

Camp NaNoWriMo - actually take part and write more than 15k, since working on 2 different YA novels.
Write in June/July/August challenge - continue writing something each week
Read - something, anything, just finish a book
Continue editing mutant novels
Continue search for better job (get second form of ID to get a new job)

How did you do in July?
What are your goals for August?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I have made progress in my editing. Woot!

While it has taken me several months, I finally have the notes done for the edits on Standing Ground. I can actually start making changes now. Working on the edit notes for Tattle Tell, which is different cause it's less passive but the changes will take longer cause I need to change the entire thing from present tense to past tense. The present tense was for when the novel had been in third person, I just figured when making the big change to third I'd keep the tense to see if I liked it that way or not. Now to change it to past tense.

But the key point is... I am making progress. And that I feel good about.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July Goals

Well, I didn't make it too far on some of my June goals because of one major success: I moved from Wyoming to Oregon. So, completed on really big goal but the other three (reading and June camp nano) were complete fails. I mostly kept up with my wdc class I had going with PDG, just have a few reviews left to do but don't have Internet access much right now, but they understand.

But it's a new month, so new goals. Or similar goals just moved to a different month.

July Goals:
Read 3 books.
Write something. (am in challenge to write something once a week for summer)
Apply for jobs. (Like mine but it's hard physically and doesn't pay quite enough.)

What are your goals?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June Goals

I haven't done goals every month this year but that's oaky. Here are the goals I have for June.

Finish reading 3 books.
50,000 words on Angel/Demon novel for Camp NaNo
Keep up when the classes for Paper Doll Gang (group on
Move (find apartment, pack, move by July 1 at latest)

What are your June goals?

Friday, May 25, 2012

June Camp NaNo

It's almost June and I'm going to take part in the summer Camp NaNoWriMo event. A few of my friends were already signed up and despite everything I have going on, I figured why not join.

I'm going to use the challenge to work on my Angel/Demon paranormal romance novel. Maybe with this challenge I'll be able to get a first draft done since it's one of the novels I want to finish a first draft of for 2012. I haven't done outlining or anything but that's okay. I can't wait to get writing.

I haven't been writing much as of late. I've been working on reviews of other people's writing and trying to get things together for some of the activities I run over on I have written a couple of poems but not much on the story front. But June will be my month to turn it around.

Are you taking part in one of the camp nano months?
What are you writing for June?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zany

zany |ˈzānē|
adjective ( -nier , -niest )
amusingly unconventional and idiosyncratic : zany humor.
an erratic or eccentric person.

This picture was a prompt back in June, 2010 for a little writing challenge I took part in. And actually, the scene I wrote has a character who is rather zany. Enjoy.

It wasn't easy.

Well, the spell was easy comparatively speaking but that's only the first part of the experiment, and the single aspect that I had any control over. The rest was up to my magical creation and the idea that there might be enough sustainable, aka not polluted air, for the birds to survive. It was a long shot but I decided to go for it. No one believed it would work in this industrial waste of an empire and I was going to prove them wrong.

I have one ray of hope. Sometimes when the wind moves the sky a certain way, I have detected a hint of blue. The bright bird egg color in the old animal encyclopedia books that showed brilliant colors of all animals that once ruled the land, sky and sea.

Despite every warning from my old mentor and the gossip of the city dwellers, all called me insane in my idea creation, I went to the perch I'd chosen especially for the spell. It was the best launch point for the birds to fly up into the sky on. After much watching of weather, I determined the perfect day for the experiment. It wasn't long and no matter how much I prepared there was this small bit of doubt that I can't shake. If I was wrong, then all hope of a healthy environment past the clouds of steamed industrial residue would become lost. I can't stand the thought of living in that world, of no true nature. The truth is... this was my last shot.

It's not easy doing a spell with that doubt, but I shoved it down to a dark recess of my mind and pulled out the two special cubes I'd created in the lab. With a tense moment of concentration, I breathed life on them, willing the change and it happened. The cubes morphed into two perfectly white birds that began to fly up into the sky at one.

They don't die right away and that is encouraging. I have to find them again to make sure they survived. It's not going to be easy but I'm up for the challenge.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Young Adult

Honestly, when I first started writing with the idea of writing novels, I never thought I would ever write anything young adult (and certainly not one that leans towards middle grade in book 1). I really didn't. That was not the plan. I thought I would be an adult fantasy writer and that is all.

Then came the mutant series. Yep, the first idea was for a young adult one, though it's actually the sequel to the one I have written (Tattle Tell). The adult mutant idea came after. And from there I have several young adult ideas that include Lighting the Wall and Ottohahn in E Minor, among others.

So, here I am writing young adult and guess what...

I enjoy it.

Do you write young adult stories?

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xebec

Xebec (also spelled zebec) is a small Mediterranean sailing vessel that had three masts, a lanteen and sometimes square sails commonly used for trading.

(image link)

I am looking for ships to use and need a couple different kinds because in the world I'm building there are going to be water ships and air ships. Though for sure the air ship will have to involve a bigger base since there are many people that will fit on the ship. But there might be ones like this that are water ships. Very interesting, and it works for X. Yay.

What X word do you like?
Know of any more ships?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Worldbuilding

Even though I have posts on here where I talk about worldbuilding but I'm still terrible at actually doing it before writing. But why worldbuild?

For one, I tried to write a scene from the novel that I'm kinda sorta worldbuilding through these posts and not having figured out the world stalled me for over 30 minutes. What caused the stall? I had no idea what to call the "store" that sold the fake starlight that had been ransacked. Just calling it a "store" didn't feel right for the world. So, because I hadn't figured out the world, the writing stalled.

I have a new idea that I've been working on for a character sketch challenge. However, since this is a science fiction story, I think I will have to worldbuild for that one too.

Guess I'd better get worldbuilding.


Do you worldbuild?
Why or why not?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Violence

I'm not very good at writing it. So far my stories have way more dialogue in them and less on the action, especially on the violent actions. I have done a few one on one fight scenes over the years but not very many. I've never been much of a fighter myself, so that might be why some of my characters are against violence.

On the other hand, the times when the non-violent characters resort to violence can be almost more interesting than say someone who is prone to violence, at least to me.

Noah, the mutant main character from the adult novels, he is against violence. Since he tries to hide his abilities (or at least to make sure no one knows exactly how powerful he really is) in order to not become a weapon for anyone, he is not a violent character in general. Sure, he will stand up for himself or someone else when the moment calls for it but he tries to go the nonviolent route first.

Some of my characters aren't necessarily against violence, they just aren't very good at it. Feynethom, the elf, is terrible, for example. He can kind of use a bow, though not the greatest at it, but any other weapon and it's best to keep away from him cause there is no telling if he will hurt someone else or just himself.

While many of my novels don't venture into violent scenes, I'm going to have to learn how to write them because there are some stories that require those scenes to be shown.

Do your characters handle violence?
How do you write a violent scene?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Utah

Yep, the place I used to live at and where I got my bachelor's degree, but no worries, this post isn't about me.

(image link)

The urban fantasy story I have in mind that includes a female main character is set in Salt Lake City Utah.  I almost wrote the story for NaNoWriMo 2011. Even went to SLC in September when I was in Utah visiting family. My awesome friend Ariana showed me around some places while I was there that might help me with my story.

I got the idea from an urban fantasy chat held on twitter to set an urban fantasy story in Utah, so it's also one of the few ideas that didn't come from a dream. In the chat, someone said that where they were from would be too boring for UF, and when they said they were in Utah I thought that SLC would actually be a good place for such a story. Not sure when I will write the story but hope to one day.

I guess U could have also stood for Urban Fantasy...

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Tell

Tell you something.... I'm not very good at show don't tell. Honestly.

I don't know what it is either but it's almost like I can't wrap my mind around the concept. I've done research on the topic, taken part in blogfests related to it, once held a contest around the idea, and still I struggle to write a story that is shown instead of told. Other people have even given me advice on it.

But still...

I try to look at first drafts as write and fix later. But fixing later isn't always easy because it's like how I used to try and fix passive voice on essays, the computer would still say the new way was passive too. Only there isn't a squiggly red line that shows when something is Tell instead of Show. There should be though.

Do you struggle with Tell?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Stress

I am feeling a bit stressed lately. Think I over-stretched myself this month. It started out fine but then I added another challenge on the 15th that requires daily writing. Add the stress of working more (one co-worker quit recently) along with figuring out this transfer process (possible T topic, hmmm) and it's all starting to be a bit much.

Sometimes when I'm stressed I find it easier to write, under the deadline in particular. However, other times when I have too much going on, then I have a harder time getting anything done.

Today is a day off from work and yet I have so much writing to do and stuff to figure out, it doesn't feel like a very restful day. I could use a nap.

What do you do when stressed?
Does stress affect your writing?

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Romance

While I do write a lot of stories where the romance includes erotica, I think that it's important to remember that there is more to a m/m relationship besides the physical side. And that is something I think some people fail to realize when they think about gay relationships. Even in court there sometimes is a focus on what the two would physically do but there is no mention of the romance or relationship in general.

On there is a romance newsletter every week, and I keep hoping they would do one that discussed gay romance because there are ways to approach the topic that wouldn't be over the rating system they have in place.

I'd like to be able to find more books in the store that have the romance (and some that don't show the erotic parts at all) because those books I would like to read.

Here is the end of a scene from the fae story I'm worldbuilding. I wrote a short story for it based on a prompt from and now am expanding since I didn't have the word count allowed to put in all I want. Throughout the story each character has his own moment where he realizes he has feelings for the other. I think before this bit will be when Talon comes to the conclusion. Though they won't actually say anything to each other about it till the end of the book.

From the short story, Selling Starlight:

"We won't for long, but I wanted to show you something. Look up at the stars." Ashpine reached up, pushing to his toes as his hand moved up beyond the soft glow of the small light they had available.

He didn't get the point but reached up anyways but there was nothing to grab. Even at such a high point the stars looked small and out of reach. "Okay. So no one can reach the stars. If you're trying to prove it to me, don't. I get it."

"Lie down." Ashpine also did as he instructed Talon to do, sinking down to have his back against the stone platform that made up the roof. "Just because you can't catch and bottle the light, that doesn't mean you should stop reaching for the stars."

Even though Talon understood what the suggestion implied, he couldn't find the hope his small vial of pretend starlight once embodied. "If always out of our grasp, then what is the point?"

The expected quick response instead came in the form of silence. He turned his head, the cold surface smooth and calming against his cheek, to look at the fae yearning for some type of answer. He needed something, anything more than empty reaches. And a gentle smile certainly wouldn't satisfy his need.

Ashpine reached over, grabbing Talon's wrist and pulled it up away from the surface they both rested upon. His fingers slid between Talon's and combined they reached towards the stars, together. "The point is... this."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quest

The quest is a common plot in many different genres. While it is commonly linked to fantasy, almost any genre can involve a quest plot line.

(image link)

I have a few quest stories, for example.

Epic Fantasy - The obvious one. Yes, the epic fantasy involves a quest of some type. The group is on a quest to fight back against a ruler who is trying to overtake every group one at a time. They also end up with different quests over the years as they battle on to reach the end goal. But they aren't questing after a magic object or anything like that, though Feyn does go on his own quest to save the other elf.

Romance - Romance stories can have quests though they may not be physical quests of traveling long distances (though yeah, some have to travel long distances and through time at times). Most of the romance stories I'm writing (whether it's Thomas/Kyle, the rancher with the city boy, the truck driver and femme boy, or anything else) there is a personal quest.

Young Adult - The young adult quest so far is also personal. Ottohahn is on a quest to fit in the place he calls home. Sage is trying to find a place to call home where he can stay. Ephram's quest is to not be a tattle anymore.

I have another one that involves travel quest but it's a sekrit.

Do you use the quest?
What's your favorite quest story?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Painting

Sometimes I paint. Well, not recently because living at my mom and stepdad house involves limited space so I don't have the room to paint because don't want to worry about making a mess or keeping the cats away.

(I can't do faces)

(work in progress, no faces, also biggest one I've done. It's canvas material pinned to a wall)

(work in progress)

Do you like painting?
Ever buy a painting from a store or anywhere? 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


A connection to BIC HOK. Why the OD ST? Well, today has to start with O and it works. ;-)

BIC HOK - is the affectionate (okay maybe not affectionate) abbreviation for the term Butt In Chair, Hands on Keys. It's a term that has been heard on a variety of places but one in particular is the Podcast Writing Excuses on an episode about fighting writer's block.

To add to this, I did OD ST: Open Document, Start Typing. Because let's face it, I can be sitting in front of my computer in a chair for hours with my hands on the keys typing but that doesn't mean I'm actually writing. I could be doing a blog post, like I am right now. I could be in a chat room on a writing web site, which I am almost every day. Or I could be posting in a forum.

So, to finish the novels I have waiting I need to BIC HOK, OD ST.

Do you have a writing schedule?
Do you struggle to get writing done?

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Names

Yeah, not surprising but I found a really cool site for names and thought that I'd share with the few that find this blog. I was trying to find a some what bionic or metallic related name for a brand new character and came across this web site. Now I'd heard of 20000 names before but did not know they have a special page with links to special categories for names.

The categories vary but include: anagram names, dream names, evil names, blood names, light names, character trait names, and much more.

Names can be a challenge, especially when writing so many different novels, but with a few sites and some luck, it isn't too difficult to find the right one.

Which site do you use for names?
Do you struggle finding names for certain characters?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Magic

Yep, magic. I did a worldbuilding post on magic before (blog link) but here is another one with a slightly different focus. There are many ways to use magic within a story, in particular in speculative fiction. However, there have to be limits because if magic can do anything, if the main character can do anything then it becomes boring.

Me and a friend had a disagreeance on this topic. He does a lot of RPG stuff online and would tell me about some of his characters. Bascially they were all powerful and could always get what they wanted but for me that was boring. I'd rather see a character who has high powers in magic be someone who struggles, not someone who barely has to make an effort to get anything done. There needs to a be a challenge, the character needs to struggle for the reader to really feel and empathize with them.

Also, it helps to have some sort of complication to the magic. In many fantasy stories, the use of magic draws off the character's energy so they become tired after use. But stories try to vary the consequences of magic. In Stardust by Neil Gaiman (I believe, haven't read but saw the movie) when the women use magic it ages them. In Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan for the women the use of magic wears of them but for men it eventually drives them insane. In some worlds the use of magic is forbidden with harsh consequences if discovered.

I have a few characters in my many novels who are very powerful in their worlds. Noah is the most powerful mutant with his controlling energy in ways that could come out in like atomic bomb level proportions. Daemahrath is an elf in the epic fantasy story who not only has magic abilities that most don't do anymore in the world but also is a skilled fighter.

Noah might be powerful but he hates it. He doesn't want to be a mutant and struggles through the series with his abilities and the fear of being used as a weapon. His hard time with the nature of his strength helps because it causes him to struggle. His emotions affect his abilities though.

Daemahrath on the other hand, has to hide his abilities and struggles in a different way. In part, he is balanced by the other elf main character, Feynethom who not only does not know how to use any type of magic but also is a terrible fighter. But also, he's well aware of his strength and has to work hard to keep himself under control. Using it does wear on the character's energy requiring rest after so much but I'm also thinking of having the magic connected to carnal urges that he has to struggle to contain as well.

What magic does your character use?
Are there consequences?
Do you find the all powerful character boring?

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Lighting the Wall

I started writing this novel a little over a year ago and I haven't made it very far since then but it's one of the YA stories I have going right now that I really enjoy. Back before I started writing the novel I posted my struggles on this blog. I had a hard time picking names and wasn't what to call one of the two main characters. I couldn't think of a title for the story and it was thanks to comments here that I picked Lighting the Wall as the title. And I shared a tiny scene between the two in a part of the story I haven't gotten to yet for a blogfest. This is one of a few stories where there are two interchanging POVs though right now I'm just writing bit by bit trying to pick which one is the best view point for the moment in the story, so not sure how often the POV will change in the end.

So for today's post, here are 2 small bits, one from each character.


After a few more steps, the car came into view. It was old and looked near its own death, if cars had that. They hadn’t used a motor vehicle in the village during Wyck’s life because they weren’t needed but he’d seen plenty of pictures during history lessons. This one was kind of boxy shaped. It might have been blue but the dust and mud covering every inch made it difficult to tell for sure.

His father stopped for a brief second, holding his hand up to indicate Wyck should stop. Despite wanting to get a little closer, he obeyed, staying behind as his father approached where Dwayne stood. He was close enough to see everything at least, though it was hard to tell many details of those inside the car.

A man stood near Dwayne, one of the strangers. He was tall, several inches taller than Dwayne with dark features. His hair was the strangest part of his lanky appearance as it had an odd upward appearance, or it did from that distance. It seemed very solid like. Despite his height and different clothes, the man didn’t seem threatening. He just looked tired.


To Sage’s relief, the patrol agreed to bring them into their small village. They just couldn’t take in the car because the doors weren’t large enough and to have something that could go through the border would be too startling for the villagers. So, pulling out his bag and a couple sacs of supplies they had left over, Sage followed the leader and his son, Wyck. Nothing else was said from him, as Sage occasionally glanced at the teen as they walked.

He almost wanted to speak. With only breathing as noise, it made Sage uncomfortable. Even June was more silent than usual as she hustled to keep up with the group. Her small bag filled with clothes had a teddy bear tied to the side and it was dragging her down. Pausing, Sage reached over to her and took the bag, adding it to his load.

She smiled at him before skipping a few steps to reach up to hold her mother’s hand as they walked through the small border portal and through the village.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kanwal

Kanwal is part of the name of a female character that I'm working to develop. The post for G has pictures and music from her novel. I am still working on the rest of her name because it doesn't sound very feminine to me but it's not a name I see often. But I liked the meaning of the name: Water Lily.

(image link)

The real reason I'm bringing up Kanwal is to discuss a character challenge I signed up for on that starts on the 15th. She is one of two characters I will be using. The Character Sketch Challenge is the title and it's going to involve daily prompts for 20 days to work on character development. The round I joined is also a special round because the prompts will all involve music.

Character 1 = Kanwal. She is a teen, thinking 16-17 ish. I haven't decided so should figure that out soon. She has lived in the US, her parents are either from the Middle East or their parents moved to US from there.

Character 2 = Octave. Male adult. His story is a sci-fi one, there is a metal/robotic thing on one of his arms (hard to describe what I saw in the dream so need to work on that). He was created but doesn't find out till part way in the story.

It should be interesting, spending days using different prompts to help develop compelling characters. I look forward to the challenge.

How do you create your characters?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Jewelry

Yep, I am going with jewelry for today's topic and not just the shiny baubles that many relate to the topic because the truth is, jewelry can be used for many different purposes in a story. Jewelry can be anything from a diamond ring, to a plain metal wristband, to even a collar to signal ownership. I use many different bits of jewelry in my stories.

(image link)

In the mutant stories, the metal band worn on the wrist is used for ID purposes but it's way more than that. There is something about the band (I haven't figured out quite yet) that blocks the lower forms of mutations, keeping them from being of use to the person. It doesn't work on someone of Noah's abilities, but it does work for Dominic (an unregistered one) and in the YA one, Ephram has one. They aren't intricate or anything, with only a couple of markings so the agency can tell if they have been taken off. And they do come off. There was a bit question over why the government would require mutants to wear something that could be removed and I think I figured out an answer for why young people who are still growing would get ones that can come off. ;-)

The slave collar is one that is iconic for the Master/slave relationship and I have a couple M/s stories that I've done for contest and such, but there is also a novel that is going to involve the slave collar. The main character is a magic wielder (considered closer to a demon in some way and hunted by non-magic people) and the only way for him to survive and not be hunted is to be owned. I have only done one scene for this story so far but am looking forward to it. May also look for some other ownership jewelry to use besides the collar some day.

This type of jewelry can also have many different uses. There are family rings, engagement rings, promise rings and so many more. There is one story in particular that uses rings (and it's for male characters, hehe). In this one that I call Sekrit novel (yes this is one of the first times I've share any details really) the main character has a few rings and if he gives them to people it is a sign of their connection and of devotion. And if he wears one of their rings, it has a special bond meaning as well. I am still working on that one, or kind of sort of umm I haven't written in months in it but will soon I hope.

Do you use jewelry in any stories?
How do you use jewelry?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Inspiration

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Ottohahn skimmed the ivory keys of the piano with his finger tips, not pressing down hard enough for them to create any sound but his hands didn't stop moving. He struggled to hide his discomfort from the girl watching his every move. Emily Clemence sat on top of his mom's piano. No one was supposed to be on top of the wood surface, but then again he wasn't supposed to play so often either. However, since it seemed to impress a girl, his father allowed it.

Emily stared at the ceiling. "Hey, piano man, I have been wondering. Could you make up a song for me?"

That made his fingers stop. The only songs he was allowed to play were the classical pieces he'd already let her hear. Sure, he'd made up a number of them in the past but alone with no one to hear. So, he stalled trying not to give in. "Oh, I don't know. Music is just a side thing I do and I don't think I can make up something."

"Oh come on. I can be your inspiration." With a lilt in her laughter, she pulled her shirt up exposing her stomach. Across one side of stomach somehow she had managed to draw piano keys. "Does this help?"


Just a flash piece from my young adult novel, Ottohahn in E Minor. I am only 25k in but I'm hoping to have the inspiration to finish it some time this year.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Highlights

Last month I posted on my other blog about my editing process, or at least the one I'm trying out. I have never really done a full edit on a novel before so figured I'd give this method a try. Here is the post:

These are a couple of screen shots. The words aren't really legible from the screen shot but the highlights are visible. And all of the chapter pretty much look like this with some spots less colorful than others. Some of the highlights come from the editminion site but a good portion are things I found and want to fix.


Here is one where there is a yellowish tag that means there is a note that is attached. I can make a note on something that I want to change or develop further. See... This one has less highlights, hehe.

How do you edit?
Are you a fan of highlighting?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Girly Inspiration

This one is going to be fun. I like to use to find images for inspiration and music, but sometimes it's hard because most of my main characters are male. It's much easier to find girly images on weheartit and there are some songs/musicians that it's hard to add to a playlist as inspiration because they just don't sound right. And while most of my male main characters are gay, they aren't girly. But I have a couple ideas with female main characters and the one I'm doing research for... she is girly and I've already started finding images and songs for inspiration.

The novel doesn't have a title and neither does the main character. It's a very different one than any I've ever written before and I can't wait even though it means lots of research. Here are some things I've found so far for inspiration.


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What about you?
Have any girly inspirations for stories?
Want to know more about my girly story? hehe

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Foreign

Okay, not really foreign as in from a different country or world per say. That works too but I'm talking about the use of a character in a story who is new to the one location and they don't know the ways so it's okay for someone to tell them what is going on. It's a device sometimes used to tell without telling because it's dialogue but it would sound weird of two people from the same place rambled to each other explaining things that they should already know. The new guy is a good option, that or a little child who asks lots of questions.

In YA and Middle Grade, the new kid to school is common. I've read submissions with them, unpublished stories and published books all with new characters either as a main or secondary one. This can be a new character to the city, the country, the world or even the universe. Also, when it involves a new world or systems that need explaining, that can be used to the writer's advantage.

On the other side of the coin, it can also be for someone who is not "new" to the place but is so different than the others that they seem foreign. Their differences can be anything but it makes them stand out and if they are the main character sometimes is part of what becomes the conflict.

My novels
I have to admit, I have a few YA books that I'm writing right now that have the foreign character. In fact, all three that I have going have that to some degree. Two of them are the new kid (one a pov character and the other a secondary character) and the other one is both the non-new pov character with a new non-pov one.

Tattle Tell - In this one the main character isn't new but the boy who befriends him part way through the story is new to the town.

Lighting the Wall - New boy to the village is one of the pov characters out of two. The other one is from the village and can help the new one figure out how things work.

Ottohahn in E Minor - Ottohahn isn't new to his city but he doesn't fit in well. He tries and is intelligent but he's also artistic along with a skilled musician which no one there understands because they see it as something for leisure only. There is a new boy that he meets who sneaks into the village.

An adult story example - In the urban fantasy one located in Salt Lake City, the main character definitely feels foreign to the location. She gets the help of someone from the location to get used to it, but at first she is pissed when she finds out that SLC is her destination and not just a lay over.

Any new kids/people in your stories?
How about those that seem or feel foreign?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Economics

Another worldbuilding post. This time it's the oh so exciting topic of economics. The only time I've ever tried to study economics was back when I competed in Academic Decathlon (cause I was a cool teen like that). We didn't really learn economics at my small town school, so I got a book that explained micro and macro economics. My eyes almost glazed over trying to read it. The topic went way over my head. But I hope it will be different when worldbuilding.

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Definition of Economics:
1. The branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth.
2. The condition of a region or group as regards material prosperity.

A few questions to consider when worldbuilding:

1. How do characters make a living?
2. How is the economy reflected in different locations?
3. What resources are available?
4. Are there any exports/imports?
5. What are the class rankings?
6. What objects have value and why?

In my novel:

1. Well, I don't have every character figured out yet but I know the two main characters with one needed more defining. The fey works on board of a flying ship keeping the vessel in good condition since he can manipulate wood. The human is in a mix between detective agency and military. I need to iron out the details for his career.

2. That I need to figure out, along with the climate and other details. First need to decide on the other locations.

3. Depends on the location. Some will vary obviously based on the landscape, climate, etc.

4. Yes. There will be for each location.

5. hmmmm That is a tough one and I will have to figure that out in particular.

6. This one too, since what is considered of value will depends on the region. Value will affect the export and import topic for sure.

What are your thoughts on economics?
Have any of the recommended questions figured out in particular?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Dreams

(Note: Insecure Writer's Support Group post is right below this one)

I know I've talked about dreams on this blog before but they are an important part of the inspiration that has created most of my novel ideas. But don't worry, I won't ramble too much about how great dreaming is and that I use them to develop the stories. Instead, I'm going to post a small segment of 2 different dreams I've had (embellished of course cause I do claim to be a writer) and then say which story they inspired. (Sorry if the post is long. I really struggle with brevity and that's why I write novels instead of flash fiction.)

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Dream 1:
"Target in sight," I whisper into the headset. Adjusting the blonde wig, my head aches. It is too tight but we can't have them falling off. I look back at my target. One of the Suits has the gem in his hand. "How should I take it?"

Ephram's voice comes to my ear. "How about a little dance, a song and a jump?"

I've gotta hand it to the boy, he still has a sense of humor. "No way. I'm not singing again."

"Come on," he adds a little whine, "it'll be fun."

Leanne interrupts. "Isaac, just go. We'll sing through the intercom and distract them."

There is a pause in waiting for them to act. Then the crackle happens, the system turning on, and out pours the refrain of the Suits song(dubbed by us), but not sung well. All heads turn up to the ceiling and it is my cue.

Now is not the time to reconsider. With a quick intake of air, I get off to a running start, grabbing the gem as I run by the group of Suits. One jumps in my way but I run straight through him not concerned at the awed reactions. That move always freaks people out.

I stop for a second at the edge of the cliff.

"Kid. You have no where to go." One Suit says, edging closer. His fear of me is obvious, the mutations scare everyone who doesn't have them. "Give us the stone back and..."

With a laugh I jump over the edge. To them it looks like I'm flying. The truth is, I can't fly. What I do is a graceful and very extended fall.

Novel = Tattle Tell (or well, the sequel to Tattle Tell because the idea for the sequel came first)

Dream 2:
I couldn't believe it. There laying in the middle of this room surrounded by regular offices and a tanked up security system for what the humans claim is hazardous material, lies the woman I have dedicated my life to finding: the prophet. And she is nothing like the stories in those books I read as a child.

At first, I don't move, almost wondering if I had imagined the whole journey up the seven different flights to the one room, managing to do it without being caught. But after blinking a few more times I knew I had succeeded. Only then did I truly notice her.

Curled up on the ground on top of a human sized pet pillow, her features were hard to distinguish. Gray and white hair hides her face, flowing down past her hips almost like a blanket. I had expected female. I had expected power. And I had expected beauty. I hadn't expected age. Even asleep she looked old but in a graceful type of beauty that I've noticed human women with their shorter life spans desire. Then she stirs awake.

I have pulled the blade out, prepared to follow through with the plan but the sight before me stops any idea of action. In a fluid display of agility, the prophet rose and in a light glow of her aura washed down, her appearance changed. As if my presence, the nearness of the powers once harnessed, had brought her youth back to life. Gray hair turns brown, the color of dry soil but more appealing, and her skin smooths to perfect complexion. And yet, in her eyes I read despair and longing. She knew my purpose and longed for it. She was ready to escape the chains and faced death with open arms.

Novel = Blood Prophesy (better title coming later)

Have you had a dream inspire a story?
Share a dream with the rest of the bloggers that pass by? (if you want)


Been a long time, but today gets two posts because it's also Insecure Writer's Support Group day, which happens once a month. The last time I posted one of these was October 2011.

This month's topic is....

Feeling lost on the writing journey

I get this feeling often and so thought it would be a good one to share with the group on my first blog back since I didn't do very good keeping up with the monthly posting in the past. Even right now I am having that lost feeling. I think part of it is that when you first looking at the idea of writing a novel there is to some degree that thought of "how hard can this be" and "how long can it really take". When I was at the second writing conference, hearing people talk about how many years it took them to get published and the average number of years being over 10 years, it was almost troubling. But the longer I go, the more I get it. But also the more lost I start to feel.

Don't get me wrong. I love writing and I don't do it just for the dream of publication. I want to write my novels and if I don't then I'll just keep getting more ideas and more characters yammering in my head and at some point that may lead to insanity (lol). But at the same time, I currently don't have a handle on where I stand on this writing path.

It's almost like that feeling of treading water and wondering how much longer I have to tread before I can move forward. I am starting to edit, so that's a good move forward but it's going to be a long process and involve more treading water. But I still hope one day I'll have a finished product  I am truly proud to say I wrote.

Anyone else feel lost?
How are you feeling this month?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Climate

I know that it's a little early for a worldbuilding post since I usually do those on Wednesday but I think that this is a good time to talk about Climate.

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What is Climate?
According to, climate is "the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years."

Why is Climate important?
While we don't want our characters incessantly talking about the weather, climate is important to the world they live in. The climate will have affects on many different aspects from fashion to transportation, from architecture to temperaments, and from animals to landscape. Because climate encompasses so many things (temperature, wind, precipitation, etc) and over a long period of time that not only can it be necessary but also a bit time consuming so one has to draw the line how much detail they put into the climates for the world of their story.

Web sites:

In My World
Oh goodness glaciers! Just thinking about the idea of figuring out the climates of the worlds in the story is a bit daunting. This is going to be a substantial undertaking because the story involves a lot of traveling and the way the different places are connected or not connected will have an impact for sure (which means I've got to deal with physic's issues as well, among other things).

The "countries" or "places" (I haven't decided what to call them exactly) are kind of like worlds. Some have expanses of space between them with a way for an air ship to travel to them. Others have land connections, water and/or land travel and such. So the layouts of the lands in the story will correlate with their climates. Once I know the main ones, I'll be able to write out the features of them including climate but I haven't gotten that far. It's something I am definitely going to think about and will have this post to look back on for a few links to use.

Do you figure out the climate of your world when worldbuilding?
Does the climate come up when writing the story?
What do you think?


I write like
Arthur Conan Doyle

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I write like
Mark Twain

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!