“A Rook Given” – 13,000

April 14, 2021

I’m going along pretty well with the plot, writing this shitty first draft. I already can see things that I need to fix and they’re bothering me as I write. I want to go back and fix them now.

My kid read some of it over my shoulder one day. “Ugh! God stuff!” Well, there is an angel and a jealous Old Testament God at the center of the story. I don’t put God in a good light here.

Did some more editing on War Mage. It’s really not that bad. I sent it to the wrong editor when I first did it; that editor didn’t like speculative fiction that much (I don’t think). Plus it does have a few typos and grammar issues. But the research is solid so I don’t have to fact-check everything. I have a habit of researching while I write, which ends up as info-dumps. I need to remember to spread the information out.

I purchased a World Building notebook (from Australia, no less, so it’ll take a few months to get to me) which was also a digital download (I’m a sucker for FB ads). Because A Rook Given is set in contemporary times (magic is considered miracles or coincidence) a lot of the questions aren’t pertinent, but they make me think. Maybe I’ll develop War Mage‘s world in a little more detail. I noticed I need to come up with different magic systems than the Ceremonial Magic that I’m familiar with. A Rook Given discusses Hoodoo and Conjure magic, considered “low magic” because it uses common, everyday, easy-to-get items to perform, along with a little bit of “high magic”. Magicians in my world are specialists, elitist, and don’t share secrets with each other.

A Rook Given is probably not going to be published until next year, which gives me plenty of time to write it, edit it, and polish it up before I present it to the editor. I don’t usually submit to critique groups, mostly because they all have their own agenda. I can’t present it to people who don’t read my genre. It’ll get ripped apart. I don’t need that.

Back to it!

“A Rook Given” – 8000 words

April 4, 2021

My newest novel is tentatively titled “A Rook Given”. It’s about a magician who makes too many familiars and God is jealous. So God sends one of his angels to destroy the magician and his familiars.

I’m already up to 8000 words with it. My plotting is out to three chapters so far, and I’ve written two. I do have the overarching plot already written out. I decided to use a notebook to keep track of all my ideas, and then transfer them to Scrivener 3’s index cards. Scrivener 3 has a way of keeping track multiple POVs by coloring the index cards.

The good news is I now have disability starting July 1. No more worrying about whether work cares if I write or not. No more worrying about whether I have a job (I don’t have a job to go back to–I was notified last week). Just two more months of TDI (six weeks, actually) and then I’m on the dole.

“Carnival Farm” finished!

March 21, 2021

I finished the first draft of my next novel, Carnival Farm. It’s about a travelling petting zoo for a carnival in New England. It’s based on my job as a carny one summer after I met my husband. Paper Angel Press will be publishing it some time this year. My job is to edit and rewrite as needed. I have a week and a half for that.

Now I’m going to rest it. I’ve worked on this for almost two and a half months. Time to chill out, write maybe something short and sweet, or dive into the next book. Three years between books is pretty bad. Now that I have time, I can catch up. Hopefully. If I get ideas.

No more (writing) books!

March 7, 2021

This weekend, I plowed through my writing books to figure out what to get rid of and what to keep. What to get rid of is a small group, but I don’t know what good home to give them to. What to keep is bigger, mostly because “It took me so long to find this book” or “I plan on doing the exercises in this book” or some other sentimental value. Note sentimental. It’s not because they’re great books, helpful references, or anything like that – it’s because I feel something about them.

That’s most of them. I also organized my Kindle library and noted that a couple of years ago, I was into every writing book that came out. How to write a mystery/fantasy was the biggest topic. I don’t know why I bought those. Because now, I know the real secret to writing books is reading books.

I’m presently reading a lot of magical theory/non-fiction books, so my sense of fiction is pretty meh. I’m planning on reading some books and magazines I got on Kindle Unlimited that are fiction, just to see what people are doing. My biggest wait is for Morgan Chalut’s series from Water Dragon Press.

I’m also back on Twitter @warwriter . Look for quick and dirty reviews, daily life musings, and retweets that I find to be interesting.

“Carnival Farm” just hit 40K. Today’s writing seems forced – my Muse doesn’t want to work today. I think it’s because She knows that I’m waiting for other things to happen today (my friend is supposed to come over and I had other plans for today) and doesn’t want to put me “in the zone”. I mean, I showed up for Her this morning, but, oh well.

I want to write, but I want to play-write, write without a reason. That’s another thing that all these books say: You have to have a purpose, an audience that you’re writing for. I’ve been brought up with that and taught that. In my first incarnation of 800 Words I would write scenes for the fun of it. Take a character, take a situation and go.

I want that again. 800Words.net was supposed to be that, but requires a picture. Sometimes it takes me a half hour to find the picture that matches the bit that I wrote. Maybe that’s my goal for today: Play-write. But when I play-write, I usually do it in a notebook.

One month to go

February 21, 2021

I’m going along with Carnival Farm. My publisher-imposed deadline is April 1, and I’m 32,000 words (180 pages) into it. I’m just over half way done!

I have also written a short story for a project with my writing group. It’s called “Hippolyta’s Dagger” and takes place in the Orange Sector of the Truck Stop at the center of the galaxy. That’s the name of the anthology: “The Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy.” It may come out next year or late this year.

Other writing is spiritual essays, mostly exploring my own religion. I’m not Christian, that is for certain, so it’s more exploring magic; other, new traditions; and trying to sync what I find with what I believe. Because I have time, I’m looking into trying some daily rituals to worship the gods I do believe in. I feel that worship is necessary because–and this might sound morbid–I sense my ending is sooner rather than later.

I have been watching The Twilight Zone series, and there is one episode, “Nothing But The Dark”, that has stuck with me since I saw it. It’s about an old woman who does everything she can to avoid death, but ends up being manipulated by him into a calm, gentle death. That’s what I’m hoping for, that Hermes Psycopompos takes me gently and calmly, offering his hand and showing me the way to the “heaven” or afterlife.

I need to get things straight in my life first, so that my family doesn’t have to worry. I don’t want what happened to me when my husband died happen to anyone else in my family. I want the arrangements to be done and paid for.

So while I look in the dark, in my crone years, resolving my religion and spirituality, I write it out.