War Mage

June 6, 2021

I finished editing the printed-out version of War Mage. What I usually do when I finish a book or when I start to edit is print it out in 12 point Times or Book Antigua font. I grab my red gel-pen and start marking it up. I know some proofreader’s marks, like # is put in a space, and three underlines under a letter is to capitalize it.

I like it a lot better now than what got published the first time. There were a few things that I pretty obviously screwed up on, like not finishing a scene. I did enough foreshadowing that it confused me, so I had to tone that down. No wonder the first editor wanted me to trash it.

Taking that editor’s word as gospel. I rewrote it from the beginning and published a piece of crap. I should have just read a couple of months later what I had sent her, to see where the problems were. It is a good idea to let the story rest your eyes before editing.

The ending was a lot better than the one published. I’m proud of myself for it. Now, for it to see the light of day.

I also edited A Rook Given. I gave myself a target of 75,000 words for this story. I don’t think it’ll get that far. I’m on Chapter 5, scene one (according to my plotting outline) and I’m at 15,000 words. I caught myself repeating names or using wrong names and had to clear that up. I am glad that I plotted most of it out, because the writing comes easier.

Max’s reboot is going well. I sold two copies and have a SFW introduction going on the blog. Part of me wants to start something brand new, with vampires or shifters or fae for market value. Another part wants to shove Iron Butterfly out there into the world, because it’s a damn cool pair of main romantic leads I want to write, and I want to immortalize The Domina forever (yes, that’s what she called herself IRL). Interesting? Let me know.

Writing for the week

May 31, 2021

This week I wrote a short story for The Storyteller’s Tarot called “Death”. I’ve taken the same story and spiced it up for Maxwell Thomas’ reboot and called it “Thanatos.” That story will be available through the website mailing list.

I have been developing Max’s social media for the most part over the past week. Things to do this week?

I updated Max’s social media content until August. That’s where I’ll be spending most of my time.

I’m not going to go nuts with Twitch and Tumblr and Snapchat. These three are enough for me. It’s a lot easier to shoot at a target with a rifle then with a shotgun. The rifle is targeted; the shotgun goes everywhere. Yes, the shotgun hits the paper, but it doesn’t hit the target.

Mercury is in retrograde until June 22, so any real writing will be crappy.

Writing like you’re gonna die

May 16, 2021

My days, empty of work now, have been filled with what am I gonna do when I die. Skip the following block if you don’t want to hear anything about my medical issues.

{begin) Last June, I was told that to get out of dialysis, I need to weigh 100 kilograms. I’ll let you go calculate it, but it sounds better in kilograms. I weigh more than that. It was suggested that I get gastric bypass surgery. Before that, I needed to go on a “strict” liquid diet. Um, I’m on dialysis? Liquid diet is bad? So they allowed me one meal a day, and protein shakes for two other meals. Fast forward to today, where I’ve definitely lost some weight, though it took me a year to do so. I’m not at 100Kg, but I’m within sight of it. Because of that, I’m seriously thinking of not doing the gastric surgery and just trying to lose the weight by eating less and less, and drinking these shakes, which really aren’t that bad if you shake them up really good and they get frothy. I’m giving myself another two years to get down to 100 kg. Problem is, will dialysis last that long? (end)

I’ve been thinking of my own demise, what will happen after that, what will happen with all the stories and characters that are in my head. Gone. They will be gone. So I’m writing and creating characters like the hounds of Hell are on my tail, because I believe that they are. I’ve kind of stopped initiating Role Play in City of Heroes/Villains, but I have characters with eensy-weensy backstories. (I’m lazy in the costume creator and I like mohawks for some reason.) If faced with an RP group, I join in, of course, pulling out those one-line backstories and throwing myself into a character. But I don’t make a point to RP.

Because I don’t want my ideas, the characters, the stories, to spill out from the page that they’re meant to be on. I believe that my writing needs to exist somewhere on paper/computer files for it to be real. Posterity. That isn’t to say I haven’t touched some people by role playing; I’m afraid these characters will go up into the ether. Since I’m a Published Author (TM) I’m afraid of losing ideas.

Now, if you read “Big Magic” by the woman who wrote “Eat Pray Love”, she is of the opinion that The Universe Provides Infinitely. Yeah, wonderful. But I have a finite time on this earth. I’m too scared to lose any ideas that are given me. Which idea will pay off, put me in the best seller list, get me that one big break?

I have 51 characters on City of Heroes. That could be 51 stories if I flesh them out. Once I hit the top level of a character, I will usually stop playing that character because what’s left is lewt and pwn sets. The only one I still play is Grimaulkin because I can play him in my sleep and I don’t have to make much effort.

But let me be honest. I miss the effort, the reasons to role play. If I join an established supergroup (“guild”), they’ve already established story lines and cliques and relationships and I’m a third wheel. If I join one from the ground floor, it’ll go “poof” (That’s happened twice already, so I know better). And then, there’s Pocket D, the club where everyone role plays; but they want to talk about how badass they are and not involve you except as a soundboard. RP in groups is slightly better as long as you don’t get the one who talks about themselves and their backstories in the middle of a fight.

Grimaulkin the book proves that the character ideas in CoX are worth while. I just have to claw through them to find which one to stay with.

Is it me?

May 5, 2021

Is it me, or is Urban Fantasy, Erotica, and M/M Romance trashed now with the horrible stories I’ve seen on Kindle Unlimited?

I’ve been hanging out on Twitter to look at what some of the new authors are peddling. I’ve gone and looked at their stories–most are on Kindle Unlimited.

They’re horrible. The first chapter! They’re either info-dumps or prologues (I HATE PROLOGUES). I ditched ones that look like Canva covers or the modern literary fiction cover of WORDS ON WALLPAPER. Out of all the authors I followed, I only selected a couple of books to put on my Kindle Unlimited, but if they don’t keep my interest in 50 pages, they’re dumpable.

And I don’t feel bad doing it.

I have learned that it’s okay, not against any religion, to toss books out. I have way too many Nazi books because I was into that time period years ago. Now, there’s no way that story will ever see the light of day any time soon, so I have all these books that have even a tiny mention of the Waffen-SS. I sold the ones on eBay that made me money, and what’s left is a bookshelf full of thick tomes on the Allies in the latter part of the war, Rommel, the Warsaw Ghetto, books on Nazi uniforms and insignia, Mussolini, and OMG way too much about uniforms and the Afrikakorps.

I’m tossing two books per trash-bag that leaves my house. The bags are a little more heavy, but the Nazi books find their way out the door without me worrying if the FBI would end up at my house thinking I’m a white supremacist.

I don’t know if it’s me, or if it really is that Kindle Unlimited (and soon to be presented, Kindle Shorts) are taking anyone with a pulse and no editing skills whatsoever.

Muse: WRITE SOMETHING!!!

April 29, 2021

Ok, so I want to write. But I have so many ideas. I have a brainstorming notebook that I’ve been scribbling plots and ideas in.

I have A Rook Given that isn’t going to be out until 2022. Because it’s so long to wait for it to come out, I’ve lost interest in writing it. (I like writing under deadlines. Call me crazy.)

I’m trying to resurrect Maxwell Thomas. I don’t know whether I should go back to the Brothers of the Zodiac and re-explain what Ishtar’s role was meant to be and do more stories in that world, or should I redo/replot Iron Butterfly as an M/M romance instead of a heterosexual romance?

Meanwhile, the Muse is demanding me to write something. Anything. Please. Just something.

So I pulled up this blog. Hi there!

I have fallen into the trap of, “My writing needs to have purpose.” Years ago, I had a discussion with my publisher (before he was a publisher). Why do we write? Oh, said my starry-eyed self then, “I write because I like it.” He said something to the effect of, “Don’t you want to be paid for it?” Oh, no, said my naive self. “Write because it feels good.”

What a unicorn-and-rainbows thought. Now it physically hurts me to write too much (carpal tunnel and arthritis are THINGS people my age get), so I have to be cautious. That adds to the “Writing needs purpose” command. I try to rest my hands, but I need to rest them by NOT playing games or scrolling through Twitter. #1stWorldProblems

I take three Tylenol every four hours and hope for the best.