Real Magic

May 19, 2019

I have decided to start on a new book. Blood From a Stone seemed to be mechanical, with no life in it. I got to the second chapter of the book, and realized that it was boring. Even though I hit the plot points did everything I was supposed to do, that was the problem. I followed a formula.

I followed the outline, and, I guess, the outline was boring. There’s a book called Story Trumps Structure, and it goes against the idea of using an outline. Sure you have “beats” and “inciting events” and all of that, but if there’s no life, there’s no story.

That’s why I felt I needed to do something different. I was talking with my publisher and mentioned to him about a panel that I could do called “Real Magic for Writers.” It would be about using the magic (chaos magic or eclectic magical practices) that I used to help my writing along. I drew up a proposal and he and his business partner liked it.

So Real Magic for Writers is slated to come out in October (I think? Or September?). With this one, I have an outline, and I’m following it, but I’m putting life into it because it’s about something I’m passionate about and that I’ve done for about 30 years. It’s something I haven’t done, a non-fiction book about a sort of secret part of my life.

And City of Heroes is back!

Switching gears

May 12, 2019

While waiting for the slooooowwwww download of CoX, I’m writing a new book.

I’ve stopped writing Blood From a Stone. I kept getting stuck, following the outline I had created for myself. I found out that I was forcing things to happen.

So now I’m writing a book for writers called Real Magic for Writers. It draws on my experience as a Sorcerer and Magician, as well as a writer of ten books.

I’m trying to keep the book conversational and easy to understand. The main point of the book is you can do the spells, but you also need to do the work behind them in order for the spell to succeed.

The good thing about this book is that the outline is clear. There’s no real room for diversion, once I can get the outline perfectly done up. With fiction, there’s rabbit holes even with outlines. With non-fiction, it’s pretty easy to go through.

I just hope that the people who read this book won’t go nuts if everything goes wrong.

Gaming or Writing? Or Sleep?

May 5, 2019

I have a lot of health problems. My internal chemistry needs to be perfect for me to function. Otherwise, I can sit and fall asleep anywhere, at any time. It takes a lot for me to work 8 hours, and then try to stay up for another four or more hours to try and edit or settle in for a game.

I can’t do it.

I eat, and I swear, half an hour later, I’m in bed. I read for maybe another half hour and I’m sleeping from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.. And still tired when I get up!

Between low iron, high sugar, and low steroids, I have no idea what the problem is. There’s too many problems to begin with.

And now I’ve found out that my old game, City of Heroes, is available again.

I want to go back to it, but my priorities are the story. I’m in the process of rewriting now. I want to game (I check in every once in a while but often don’t want to get into it). I want to read. I have to write. It’s not that I don’t want to do that; I feel like my body betrays me.

I’m on page 24 of Blood From a Stone, and it took me all week to get that far. I can only hope that I get further this weekend.

Tempt the school librarians

April 28, 2019

Yesterday I attended the first (possibly annual) Providence Book Festival. In terms of sales, I didn’t do too well, but in terms of networking and finding out information (and helping other authors) I did really well.

One nugget I learned was that librarians go to these things. It’s not a bad thing to try to cater to a school library. Because Grimaulkin is young adult, and that market is hot (not hot-hot like middle grade) I can get the book into the hands of high schoolers. I also offered myself up as a speaker to school librarians in case they ever wanted to put together a panel of authors.

Meanwhile, I am now doing the rewrite for Blood From a Stone. I did all the background work, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, what characters to keep, what scenes to redo and add in. I hope to have it done in the next two weeks and ready to send out to the editor by then. My self-imposed deadline is June 1.

May 1 is when Grimaulkin Tales comes out. We titled each of the stories like Canterbury Tales, which is kinda neat. I’ve sold one copy already, and I may have someone ready to get it in June.

My next appearance will be June 1, at the Woonsocket Meet & Greet in the Woonsocket library.

April 21, 2019

Next Saturday, I will be appearing at the Providence Book Festival in the Renaissance Hotel. It’s a fancy joint, so I might have to dress up. and I have to pay an insane amount to park. Oh well; at least I’ll be with other Pulitzer Prize winning local authors (though I never heard of them). It should be interesting.

I might have one appearance in May, but on June 1 I’ll be in Woonsocket for their second annual Meet and Greet. I hope to participate in Pridefest on June 15 – it depends on when I get my tax ID. It’s the little things.

In the meantime, healthwise, I don’t feel like I’m getting better, and some days are better than others. Today is already rough; I can imagine what next week will bring. I have some tests the following week to decide whether or not I’ll need oxygen. If that happens, I might as well give up doing the outdoor events. Nevermind how the heck I’m going to get around.

Progress on Blood From a Stone is excellent. I’ve plowed through my manuscript, fluffed up some scenes, taken out some worthless characters, and told a story. It’s the how that is going to be the problem. I know what I want to say now, what I meant to say in the first draft; now I need to figure out how.

It’s going to take some significant rewriting on my part to get it to be the story I wanted. But it has some hope, unlike Yellowtree which has the only hope of a good title.

Speaking of good titles:

Review: Clean
I didn’t finish it. Maybe I’ll go back to it. Why?
The main character (A Level 8 telepath, whatever the hell that means) is a recovering junkie. I thought, okay, that’s interesting. But he brings it up in every chapter. In every other chapter, he keeps asking his superiors for help from “The Guild” and the superiors keep saying no. By the fifth time of all this happening, I’d had it. (Remember the rule of three, people. Reject it three times and then do something about it, or your reader will think you’re dragging it along like a dead horse.)

Review: Hot Lead, Cold Iron
I’m still reading it, though I’m getting really close to not finishing it.
The main character, Mick Oberon (probably that Oberon, I wouldn’t be surprised) is a 1930’s noir PI fae. I thought that was a great idea, too, except the narrator’s voice keeps switching from period voice to a more modern voice. It’s like hearing a high Victorian lady spout the f-word like a soldier. We’ll see if I finish it.