Posts Tagged ‘short story’

The other morning, I had worked at getting several hundred words into the fifth White Dragon Black novel, which, alas, still has no name. ~looks pointedly in Muse’s direction~ I decided to use some of my time in the afternoon to finish up the first draft of a short story. I opened the file and began to skim it, to re-familiarize myself with what already existed.

That didn’t take long, because there was only a couple of paragraphs – short ones at that. I felt my stomach drop, even as my mind went into wild bird in glass box mode. My brain bounced from one thought to another as it tried to reconcile the fact that it was sure there was a lot more to this work than was on the screen. My gut said I had somehow lost all the work.

I searched the computer, opened files incase it had been saved under a different name somehow, I stuck my thumb-drives in to make sure it wasn’t there. I even opened my email to see if it ad magically moved itself. All for naught.

Then I looked to my left and saw the small pile of pages ripped out of a notebook which had been sitting there for well over a month. I opened the fold over pages and read the first line.

Yeah. It was the majority of the story. Soon as I read it I remembered I had written it in the summer, waiting in my parents van for the delivery truck to bring the baby chickens. I just never got around to transcribing it. I honestly had no recollection of writing it that way until I unfolded the paper.

I have no idea what I thought those pages were but I do have note pages of all sizes, all over my tiny desk- story idea’s, quotes to put in current projects when I get there, jotted down interesting facts I might be able to insert in a story, all the usual writer’s stuff. Still, I felt pretty damn silly.

Now I’m putting the chicken scratch of my writing into the computer, so I can try and wrap this one up before working on the other two calling out for my attention. Because writing three short stories and a novel would be silly, two on the other hand…

Just got my short story ‘Charon’s Obol’ back from Xchyler Publishing to give it the final look over before they start to assemble the actual ARC of ‘ Legends and Lore‘  this fall’s paranormal anthology. I hate this stage because it means reading it as cold as you can to detect any hiccup in the works. I find this to be a very difficult thing to do with m own work, as I have already read it over countless times. It is hard to divorce yourself from your own words far enough to spot the niggling little things.

Luckily, once they have compiled the work together we will be able to read each others stories and not only get a sense for the thing on a whole, but help spot errors in each others work.
This part really causes my heart rate to go up. Seeing the other stories that will share space with your, getting the feeling of the antho as a whole, and sensing the magic the editor’s have woven to take separate stories and making them into one book.

ShadesAndShadows_Cover_full-resI have no doubt that, on October 18th, a fantastic anthology will be available for you all to read. How am I so certain? Because last years collection was simple amazing, and I was proud to be in it.

If you haven’t picked it up yet, put ‘Shades and Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology’ on your to buy list and grab it the same time you get ‘ Legends and Lore’  – Don’t worry, I’ll give you the link to that collection too, just as soon as it exists.

If you liked Tomorrow Wendell’ both these anthologies have White Dragon Black short stories in them so you can get your Jonathan Alvey fix.

 

Pearls are made by many layers after layer of nacre being added to one grain of irritating sand. Good stories are not so different with the rough original tale being coated in layers of edits. Yes, I know. Usually the reference is to a polished gem. Cutting away tiny amounts and buffing it just so, until it shines. I see it as layers, for although edits often do involve cutting bits, I feel a story reaches a smooth beauty only by layer after layer of strong edits are added to it.

I’ve finished the ‘new’ short story I was working on, and even gave it a fitting, if not entirely original, title – ‘The Ties That Bind’. Of coarse by finished I mean, I wrote all the words I think belong to it, gave a it a once over, then did a round of edits. Which means it is far from actually being finished. I have sent it on to my editor, so another round of edits it guaranteed to be needed. Then my beta-reader will get her hands on it and will point out all the errors I made while working through the comments my editor made. Once I’ve corrected them, there are further steps because this one already has an outlet to go to. So, another round, or two, of edits will happen as it passes through the skilled hands of the editing team at Xchyler Publishing.

So if anyone tells you writing isn’t hard work….. It just happens to be hard work that I love! There should be no other reason to write, if you aren’t writing because you love it, and can’t think straight without putting those words down, your not a writer. I ‘m not sure what you are, but it isn’t a writer.

Having ‘done’ the short story, I was able to get some fresh words into the fifth novel this morning, and let me tell you, that felt good. I have realized that this novel is going to take a bit of a different twist/direction than I first thought. That’s fine, and I think it will work well. Another plus, is that it will change up the style/format of the novel from the couple before it just enough to be distinct.

I have a number of chapters from ‘Bindings & Spines’ back from my beta-reader and can’t wait to work through them. Partly, I confess, because I’ve got to another bit of a rather rough spot in the other edits of that novel and are not entirely certain of just how to proceed. I can still work on B&S, if I go through the post beta-reader chapters, and feel I’m making process, while I dodge the tough stuff for another day or two. After that, I’ll have no choice but to buckle on my armour, draw my sword, and wade into battle, screaming ‘Damn you, ME! What were you thinking!’

Had our annual Labour day long weekend party this weekend past. It was one of the stranger experiences for me in a long while because, for the first time in years, I knew come today- I would have to get back to work.

In fact, I felt bad because while I was sitting around drink a G&T in the afternoon, I knew I had things that needed to be done. I had work waiting on me, I felt guilty actually that I wasn’t at my computer.

I didn’t actually breakdown – give in – and work but it was a near thing. I have three projects on the go – three official projects – plus writing the fifth novel, so three days off is actually a lot.

Today, I’m trying to getting back in the swing but I am a bit run down still from the weekend, and I couldn’t sleep last night. Being social, ‘up’, and interactive takes a toll on me (and most people with mental health issues) even when I’m enjoying myself, there is still a price being paid. ‘Relaxing’ with people is a whole different game than ‘relaxing’ with people. Plus, with my hearing loss, social interaction that isn’t text based can be quite exhausting. Straining to hear, sorting out all the noise, focusing on the conversation, watching lips – this piles up fast and wears you down fast too.

So I don’t know just how much real work I will get done today. . .  Excuses – I hate them when their actually legit.

I may not be pulling in the money like this was a ‘real’ job, but I’m certainly putting in the hours.  With writing in the morning, either in the new short story or the fifth novel, and edits all afternoon, plus social media promotion of my novel and myself, my day is full.

I can’t imagine how all those other writers out there, who do actually hold down another ‘real ‘ job do it. I mean, seriously- kudos to you all. My writing is eating into everything else, and I don’t know how to stop that. I feel if I’m not doing my self imposed minimum of edits and writing, I’m shirking my duties and not taking this ting seriously. It has become the number one priority and everything else is secondary to it.

Unfortunately, that can’t be true, even for me who has no ‘day job’. Things need doing around the house, repairs, upkeep, cleaning and yet…

I’m going to have to find a balance, I know this, but I also know I can’t get stressed about either side of this argument because stress isn’t good for my brain… it isn’t good for anyone’s brain, mine just overreacts.

This is the only reason I wish I could be ‘rich’ off my writing is to have other people do the ‘other stuff’ so I could just worry about the words. I guess that’s true for all of us writers. Actually, I wouldn’t mind getting some serious money coming in for another reason–to fully cover the cost of going to a con – at least one per year, right here in Ontario.
I am seriously going to do all I can to get to Ad Astra in Toronto this year – and unless I hate it (which I can’t see happening) – and every year after. It would be nice if I could do that on the profits of my sales . . . maybe in 2016.