Posts Tagged ‘Urban Fantasy’

My Editor has found her grooveeditredThat or having just realized there are 45 chapters in this novel  has filled her with panic.editpanic

Either way the chapters are coming fast and and furious noweditfast

Yeah – you know I had to insert that pic.

I have chapters 17 thru to 20 of the next White Dragon Black novel, ‘Bindings & Spines’, now in my hands to work on. I know for many this would be a thing of dread and stress, I happen to get a little giddy with this sort of thing. I like the challenge presented by edits. I like forcing myself to think think outside my self-created boxes to find solutions to parts that just don’t work.

I first tackle the easy stuff, the corrections that are simple and I basically only have to agree to the changes. Then I move up in difficulty, say replacing a word that just doesn’t convey the right feeling, then I just keep following that tactic. Having read all the notes from my editor, I’m cognizant of the problems. The easy stuff gets me in the mood for change, and by the time I’ve got only the really tricky rewrites to do, my brain’s already been working at how to redo it.

I also take the hard parts and copy them then paste them on a blank sheet. I copy it twice – one on top for reference one below. I attack the second one. I rework, rewrite, and rearrange the words. The one above gives my the source… the concept I was trying to convey, and the reasons why it didn’t work. Eventually, the one below clicks. I then copy it and paste it in to the manuscript hoping my editor likes that version.

Edits are what they are – writing from a different angle.editbox

Nothing more sinister than that.

So I seem to be entering the next step up in my mental health cycle.cyclesteps

I shouldn’t be surprised – the timing is just about right for it.Cyclestairsman

This means I’m now even a little less ready to deal with the real world and a little more prone be irritable about nothing. I am more likely to ‘latch on’ to something and obsess on it, or gnaw on it in my head.  My general ability to relate and adapt to situations shrinks and I lose even more ability to focus.

And Yet….cycle mantunnel

This is the same time when, if I’m writing, I’m able to push out a couple thousand words in a sitting. I’m able to just immerse myself in the creative and produce. I seems that is also true with the more hands on projects I’ve now returned to, having joined the SCA. Tackling logistical problems, is being slippery, but carrying out the implementation of the solutions to those problems, is very controlled.

cyclefallingrockA life time ago, when I wasn’t on medication to help level my brains response and reactions, this would be a very bad time for attempting physical manifestations of my creative impulses. My anger control was shot, so the slightest issue would drive me into a state that resulted more likely in smashing my project into a twisted lump. I couldn’t make the connection to the image in my head and the way to manifest it in reality, and I would deal with self-esteem issues when I failed to manifest the thought into the physical.

Now, I have the ability to lean back, sigh, and tap my fingers on my temple, as I try to make the brains desire and the fingers skill mesh. I can struggle through and either try, and try again, or know enough to turn my attention to a different project in hope of finding some satisfaction from that one. This ability really changes the game for me. Now I’m not saying that it is easy – it is still hard, when the cycle is high, to fuse desire, intellect, and function – but it is now at least possible.

I can, with the help of the meds, turn the negative obsessive nature into a laser beam directed at one single project. I’ve also found music helps me stay relaxed, loose, and focused during this stage – sooth the savage breast and all.  I can even switch from one project to another. What I can’t do is come out of the intense focus on making a thing or writing a scene, into the real world. It’s a lot like waking for me, their is disruption, befuddlement, and a jarring sense of disconnection. Luckily my wife is used to this and waits while brain scrambles to put context to a wider reality.

2015-11-22 15.20.16 B
So I am progressing on my edits – just got chapter 18 and 19 for the next White Dragon Black novel ‘ Bindings & Spines’ this morning so, after my morning social media routine, I will have to take a look at them. I finally figured out how to put together a tiny pomander bead and actually implemented it yesterday – I need to recreate the technique once more for the project – and I started on making a face in one of the bone beads I’m making for the rosary challenge I signed myself up for. 2015-11-21 16.27.29

So I’m cresting and plunging to a degree, as the waves of my mental disorders slap the little dingy I’m stuck riding this life on.cyclestorm

I’m still seated however, and the view, once you get over the initial panic, is pretty spectacular.

I’ve been wanting to write.
I’ve been getting glimpses – tiny flashes of scenes.writerwishing
I’ve yet to be able to just sit and write.

writer&MuseLast night however, just as I was getting ready to go up to my bed, my Muse gave me a full scene. It was an important scene . It was there with colour, meaning, sounds, and emotion. I knew I had to capture the barest of it’s essence on the page. I hastily scrambled to my computer, opened a new page on the processor and jabbed the keys. I caught it, just enough, from the words written I should be able to spin a full scene from it and make it rich and poignant.
Sounds great, right?

Yeah… it was a scene from the very last White Dragon Black novel. It was a scene in bloody book eleven!

Yes – sorry – but there are only going to be a maximum of eleven novels in the series. You now know my secret, my hidden agenda. I had just started the sixth novel when my Muse decided a long vacation, with her sisters, to the mediterranean, was a good idea. musesMonths now – high and dry. And the one scene she slams so hard into my skull my ears were ringing? The eleventh damn book.


And people wonder why we authors drink so damn much!

writer -think we do

climbing the chaptersI have one paragraph in Chapter 3 of the next White Dragon Black novel, ‘Bindings & Spines’ to rework – other than that, Chapters 1-10 are ready for proof. Usually little issue arrises in proof, so essentially those chapters are out of my life. I will have to tackle that one paragraph- today. I’ve already reworked and reworded it significantly once…but clearly failed in my job to make what I see in my head appear in my readers head. Sometimes changing it up just clicks and sometimes it doesn’t. It isn’t something to get upset or stressed over. It will get there – it just may take a few tries, and there is nothing wrong with that. If everything I wrote was simply sent on up the line, without issue being taken or corrections asked for – well, I’d be highly suspicious and, in my heart, know my editor wasn’t doing their job.
Being ‘done’ 1-10 means I just sent chapters 11-20 of ‘Bindings & Spines’ on up to my editor for her to start working through them, I should start getting them back in my email rather soon and the cycle rolls on.

tongue brooch connected pairI also finished the ‘tongue’ style brooches I was working on. They are for a SCA Arts & Science event coming up in two weeks called ‘Queen’s Prize Tourney‘ (QPT). Was there more I could have done? Were there small bits I could have tweaked? Could I have sanded it with a fine grit sandpaper just a few hours longer? Always!
Being the crafter I don’t see the ‘shiny’, I see the ‘flaw’. That’s life, and I’ve taught myself  to accept a certain point as being ‘done’ whether my brain says it isn’t or not. Eventually you have to put the thing down, out of reach, and sight, and move on. I have learned to do that. This isn’t going to be worn by the queen, in foreign lands, as proof of the greatness of the A&S in the Kingdom of Ealdormere – and thus… it’s done.
Photo on 2015-10-27 at 1.52 PMAlthough, I have already purchased a great looking horn to inspire me to do further work in the area of repousse. Now that I’ve taught myself the basics, it is time to practice, practice, practice. Before I do that, however, there are other projects waiting …

I can move on to the other projects on the go which I stayed away rom playing with during the last push to finish the QPT project. I have a ‘simple’ rosary of fancy beads to string together; the hold up being I’m making a tiny pomander in the shape of a shell, and I haven’t worked out all the kinks in how it works.
I want to get back to work on a project I have neglected too long – my wife’s toothpick pomander. I have to start cutting glass into tiny gems, so I can then set them in the metal.
But most of all, I want – and need – to get started on the challenge I set myself before their majesties; hand carve a rosary, out of bone, in a year. I need to get started on this pronto if, for no other reason, than to understand the time it is going to take me to carve each bead. I must have a work time line so I can apply myself appropriately. First I must make the tools I will need – tiny, tiny, chisels, hand shaped from very small screwdrivers.

choose work

Okay – yes, my crazy is clearly not limited to bipolar disorder… your point?


rejection-letterThese past few days I’ve been getting strong signals from my Muse. I have a short story set in my White Dragon Black world that is a good 60% there, which has a strong actual ‘detective’ feel to it. I’ve been hoping for another of those as I’m longing to to submit to the ‘The Strand Magazine’. They are a long running detective magazine that says they take paranormal. I don’t know if I’d get in, but it would be nice to write something that has a firm enough detective vibe to submit. I’m not the sort to wilt under rejection; better a rejection from such a long standing magazine than a ‘never know’.

zombie-house1I am also getting more of the zombie novel I started, and I think it might have to come out of my skull before any further WDB novels do. I even have something I never had before – meat for the ending. There is a travel component to the tale… an almost quest like story of getting to a house. I never knew why before. I knew it was the protagonists parents house, I even knew they had died a bit before the outbreak but I never knew just why my protagonist wanted to go there. They would have to pass a lot of other places that would, in truth, be just as good, or maybe better, than this house he was gunning for. Just the other day, as I was driving (when many a revelation or inspiration hits), my Muse showed me the why. I got the moment in my soul, saw the scene, and understood. It isn’t really surprising to me. I knew that, dotted throughout the story, had to be snippets of his old life, memories and the like. But now I understand, and I love it. It is both sentimental and twisted. It makes you call into question all that happens during the trip, and yet… and yet, if I write it just so, it will touch the heart.

Writers-BlockBoth of these sound pretty good, right? Two projects to delve into – and I can, in fact, write a short while writing a novel. I should already have aching finger tips, and an extra numb ass!  So why don’t I? Because my brain is dumb!

I’m rearing to go, got the material, got the connection to my muse, and yet… when I open the screen to write, my brain freezes up, pulls in on itself, and stubbornly shakes it’s head.
Stupid brain.

I’m not sure if I should be gentle and slowly try to ease it towards letting words trickle out, hoping the trickle becomes a flood, or if I should bludgeon it with a sledgehammer until it cracks and gets swept aside under the sudden deluge of creativity.

I just have to hope my Muse is patient with me, and understands that it is my fault I’m not writing.