Posts Tagged ‘Urban Fantasy’

Yup – it is the seasonpushtree

The season of pushing to get all the chapters edited.

My editor has decided she must get all the remaining chapters in, ‘Binding & Spines’, the second White Dragon Black novel, edited before Christmas – so she can enjoy the Holiday guilt free. I will help her achieve this because, although I am not the source of her guilt, I like to make my editor happy and her life easier.

Of course, actually enjoying editing helps too. I don’t mind pushing tiny speakers into my ears, starting up my ‘White Dragon Black’ playlist, and delving into the creative process of manipulating words and idea’s, to spin gold from straw.pushstraw

My other projects – the ones for the SCA – can wait. There’s no dead line, there’s nobody waiting for them – technically. The only person feeling guilty if they are not completed by some random time line is me. I can live with the self inflicted pseudo guilt to push out these last few chapters.

So my editor – in her push to finish asked for all of the remaining chapters. We have been going ten at a time. I went and opened the file folders, going chapter by chapter and added them to the email, until… pushin

Until I came to chapter 40 and found the file folder empty.pushempty

This was perplexing.push perplex

It was more perplexing when I found that chapters 41 – 45, the last chapters, were also empty.
I know these chapters were done. I wrote them, I edited them, and I was rather certain I had saved them in these folders where they belonged. Apparently I was wrong about that last part.
Maybe I was wrong about all three and the whole end of the novel is one massive hallucination…. rather hoping that’s not the case.pushhalluc

So this afternoon, I’m going to go looking at all the other multitude of places it might be saved.

pushmess

I hope I find them quickly.

So I’ve been a nail biter for the majority of my life.habitnails

I’ve managed to not bite my nail for some extended periods of time but usually end up finger in mouth again. Right now, I have once more but aside this habit. I am maintaining my nails with clippers and file, and keeping the skin around them, smooth and tended to. I hope to make this the norm for the rest of my life – because… it’s a bad habit.habitno

I used to smoke. Started late, at eighteen – no really, for most people that is late. Smoked for years, tried to quit but failed, failed, failed. I tried quitting because it was too expensive (back when it was a whole 6.50 a pack) – fail. I tried quitting because it was unhealthy – fail. I tried quitting because my brother-in-law had children…and succeeded. I didn’t want to be the uncle that smoked. However, I won’t lie – there was no way I would have stayed clean if it wasn’t for vaping (e-cig). Not smoking is good, because we all know (despite how much we may love it while we do it) that it is a bad habit, in so many ways.habitsmoke

Bad habits, the above. Worthy of the time and effort to quit.

Some people say not writing everyday is a bad habit.projectblank

There is a school of thought that says ‘Get so many words down a day. Even if they are rubbish, write them’. Is that a good habit…or is it personal style? I can’t produce words if my Muse is not whispering them to me. I am not the source of my stories. I can’t come up with much beyond, what if my protagonist didn’t like the colour orange?habit orange

But, when my Muse starts to caress my brain… Oh wow! The words form a miraculous torrent of imagery that spins down from my mind and out through  my fingers.habit magic

So what exactly does writing ‘It had been a bad day for Bob. He didn’t like the day he had had. Tomorrow Bob hoped would be more fun.’ or its equivalent, everyday, when ‘m not inspired? Especially when, if I wait, I can get. ‘It felt as though he walked down a giant dogs mouth. Robert’s cloths clung to him and the world reeked of garbage. This summer day might have looked idyllic from behind cool glass, but for those forced to live it, as he was, it was hell. Tomorrow, he reminded himself, it would all change tomorrow.”

Seems a straightforward answer there, right?

But… it has been months since I really wrote anything. In fact, that was probably the most I’ve writing that wasn’t in this blog for over a month. Would forcing myself to write sh*te drive my Muse so insane, she comes running to plug up the drivel and get real words on the page?habit muse

I used to write at night. Sit down at the computer around eleven, and go until a bit after one. But I was sleeping in until ten-thirty and my wife got up to deal with the menagerie of livestock at five-thirty, six. So we saw little of each other – she would stop doing whatever she was doing, just to join me for what was, my morning coffee. Eventually, I decided she needed to start waking me at nine, to mesh our lives a little closer. Now I don’t write at night, but I usually can get a good bit done in the morning – if I’m writing.

Staying up late and sleeping in – bad habit or personal style?habitnight

I don’t believe there is One Right Way or The Golden Approach to writing – or life. I do believe there are bad habits. I guess the trick is to truly examine yourself and daily routines and decide which is which.

BBB review & banner-2I – like I’m sure every other indie author does – checks his ranking on Amazon and the reviews on Goodreads. Every two weeks or so I record the numbers to see how they compare to the quarterly sales numbers. Usually the correlation is pretty obvious. Every so often when checking you open the page to find your ranking has shot up. A little pay back for the social media work, and hopefully some word of mouth sales.rank kid

This morning was one of those mornings.rankprize

Boy was it. 

On the 21 of the month my anthology, Blondes, books, & Bourbon, was ranked just over the 1000 mark in the category of ‘Anthologies & Short Stories’ as well as ‘Magic Realism’. Today it is number 365 in’Anthologies & Short Stories’ and 384 in ‘Magic Realism’. That’s a big difference. Now Amazon’s ranking algorithm is not always the most…trustworthy. That’s why I check every day but only record the the number once every two weeks – unless there is a whooping big change. The fluctuations of a couple hundred don’t mean much – but this sort of change is usually indicative of something.

BBB review & banner 6

The anthology was very well received and got great reviews – especially for a collection of just my short stories after only one novel in that world, Tomorrow Wendell, having been released.

BBB review & banner 4

A lot of people have said that although they usually hate short stories – they liked Blondes, Books, & Bourbon, even better than the novel.BBB review & banner 5Hopefully word of mouth really is getting out and about. It would be nice to have people actually, actively,  awaiting the release of the second novel, Bindings & Spines. Having fans is rather awesome… better really than the money.

BBB review & banner 3

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.