10

01/22

Takin’ my own sweet time

If you don’t give me a deadline, I assume “anytime you want”. Teen Guardians, the newest Grimaulkin story, is at 11K words because of a few reasons.

Podcasting.
Pain.
Health.
Boredom.
Lack of attention.

I do two podcasts: commercially, Small Publishing in a Big Universe; and always Dark Mystic Quill once a month on the last Friday of the month.

I have pain in my left hand due to arthritis. Forty years of typing hasn’t helped because this is not the hand that does the typing–I have to raise my thumb to keep it out of the way. All you touch-typists know what I’m talking about.

Still on dialysis. Still dealing with the heart attack (myocardial infarction). I am double vaxxed and boosted and waiting to get Covid so I can get it over with.

When I sit down to write, I only pretty much know what the scene is going to be. After that, I have no idea what’s going on with the rest of the story. And whenever I try to plot it out, I get mad at myself because I don’t want to write it out. There’s no fun in that. I have an ending in mind for the main plot, but no idea for the sub plots. I don’t want my writing to turn into a bunch of words with no story. That’s what I was afraid of with Carnival Farm–that it had no story. But it’s doing really well (I might have a double-digit royalty check this month!) despite my thinking there’s no story involved in it. It’s a book club book.

Lastly, I look around and see things I need to do. Clean the cat litter box. Read for my 2022 Reading Challenges. Finish reading this humongous book on the Middle Ages. Research, learn, and perform ceremonial magic. Do divination/spiritual explorations. Not to mention prep for podcasting and watch movies/read books at dialysis.

Coming out between February and April 1 (tentatively) is War Mage, the Extended Edition. It’s War Mage the way I wanted it done. An editor wanted me to rewrite it, which I did, and it came out as the tiny book that’s on sale now. But this one is much better. It’s only got my name, L.A. Jacob, so Jake is gone.

And one more thing: We’re doing Rhode Island Comicon November 4-6 at the Convention Center and Dunkin Center in Providence this year. There will be TONS of books (trust me, I have to carry them) from Water Dragon Publishing. Myself and a really good author from Boston, Steven D. Brewer, will be there with his short story collection. My son will be cosplaying somewhere around there, too. More information forthcoming!

05

12/21

A Grimaulkin Return?

2:25 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Characters,Grimaulkin,Inspiration

I have the itch to write. I put aside the NaNoWriMo project after its epic fail last month. I want to write something, but I have no idea what.

So I sat down with my writing journal, and what came to me was a scene I had done years and years ago on another blog. I had Grim create a spell call the Cornucopia Spell that he put on a fridge. Anything you wanted would appear in the fridge. Cooked or uncooked, but just the way you wanted it.

Well, one of the characters in the hostel that the fridge was located in liked to “stump the fridge”. He created bacon ice cream. A long and very funny role-playing session happened (but not as memorable as Penis Coat in the D). I could do a short story with that character and the Cornucopia scene. It could be part of the Storyteller’s Tarot as the ten of cups (wish-fulfilment).

As I kept writing in my journal, I realized that there were a few other characters I wanted to bring out. Jules, the naive wanna-be hero; Eule, the prankster; Masonry, the anti-hero; and more from way back in City of Heroes and Champions Online. I have to go back to all the stories I’ve written (skipping Bomber because he’s quite dead) to get what I was trying to do with them. Do I want to bring them all out, along with Grim, who owns this hostel for “wayward boys” because he’s forced to do years of community service for a crime he committed?

The thing is, I don’t want to mine old stuff. But it seems to be the fastest way to get at anything.

I’ll play with the idea. Let it stew and pull out old characters, read/write them up.

Maybe another Grimaulkin story might find its way out.

20

07/21

Oh, to the Shredder with it (for now).

1:48 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Grimaulkin,Inspiration,Methods of Writing,Writing

I picked up A Rook Given and decided to establish the POV as Rook’s only. This meant I had to change Edwin as “Master Edwin” or “his master”, and Mebahel didn’t exist any more. The scene that sparked the story had to be taken out (Mebahel heals a little crippled girl and the parents are upset because they can’t get insurance or money from her disability anymore). After rewriting the few chapters I did, the story got cut in half from 22K to 11K, six chapters to four.

This morning I sat down with my outline and plan, and went right off the rails when writing. This means that the Muse is just as sick of being forced into the square peg of this story, that She wants something else. I pulled out my trusty box of StoryMatic, and pulled something random. I sat with a blank page for about ten minutes, then wrote ideas. None worth anything.

But there’s two ideas that are noodling around in my head. One is from The Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy world, where an archeologist who is on the station for SCIENCE! hits a wrong button and…oops. The other is Mike (Grimaulkin) goes to a local Comicon. Both would be fun, for my own…edification, not meant for public consumption. Maybe I need to write those before the Muse will either go back to A Rook Given, the Werewolf story, or something else new. Time to clear things out for new stuff.

07

04/19

Death card

The Death card in Tarot means endings and new beginnings. I’ve just finished Grimaulkin Tales (not Grimaulkin Collected – that’s the omnibus edition) and it will be available May 1.

Now I’m working on Blood From a Stone, doing the long and detailed rewrite of the story. It’s not as wrecked as Yellowtree. Yellowtree needs a total rewrite, I think. I might end up parking it in the drawer and starting something entirely new, but I love the title and I can’t let it go.

My next event, hopefully, will be the Providence Book Festival on April 27. I may have copies of Grimaulkin Tales there – no promises. Regardless, they will be available at PrideFest (if the Association of RI Authors has a presence).

Brother of the Zodiac omnibus should be available soon as well. Here’s the first draft of the cover..

The second draft has some Easter eggs and this will be available soon. Blood From a Stone will be under Maxwell’s name because of the subject matter.

I am trying to think of a different story to do. I liked the character of Turbo that I developed in Champions. His brother was a superhero and got injured, so Turbo took up the mantle himself without his brother knowing. I’m not sure if the superhero market is any good when it comes to stories–I know that the urban fantasy series is still going strong. I want to write to market a little bit, because otherwise the book will end up in the remainder pile somewhere. But I don’t want to sell out. It’s a fine line.

I want to write something that I can enjoy writing because after all, I’ll be with it for months. And you, Gentle Reader, will be with it for hours. I don’t want to waste your time on it, either.

Well, first thing’s first – finish Blood From a Stone and then take a look at the landscape to see what’s next. As with the Death card, every ending is a new beginning.

31

03/19

Love and Hate

11:33 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: Characters,Grimaulkin

I love Grim, don’t get me wrong. I love playing him, and writing him.

But to do it for two weeks straight? That he’s all I think about for two weeks (now three). I have two stories left for the anthology, and getting them written is like pulling teeth. The idea is there, the few pivotal scenes are there, but there’s no thread combining them.

I usually write in a chronological order. I have tried writing a scene here and there, then putting the thread between them. It never works for me, because it bothers me that I’ve put something on paper, and it is in stone, unchangeable–and I have to mold the rest of the story around those few pivotal scenes. If they’re in my head, they’re changeable.

I have one week to write two stories. It’s not fun anymore. After this anthology, it’s time to put Grim to bed and keep him alive only on Champions Online. Sorry, but I don’t want to end up hating the guy, and writing book number 14 in the series, pissing off fans and milking the character.

24

03/19

Release

11:00 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: Grimaulkin,Writing

I started writing again. I had to rewrite one of the stories in Grimaulkin Collected, and when I did it, the creative stuff started to flow again.

However, there’s one story in Grimaulkin Collected that I have to get rid of, because I can’t seem to write a happy ending. Instead of three stories, I need to come up with two. I think I can whip them out pretty quickly given the chance and non-distraction.

The plan is to have Grimaulkin Collected out in June. I want to do something with Yellowtree, but the state that it’s in right now is horrible. After tearing it apart, I noticed my issues, and I can’t seem to see beyond them to change the story. I love the title “Yellowtree” and the concept of using fey this time around. But after that…I have no idea what to do with it. I’m trying to let go of the wreck I wrote, but I can’t seem to think outside of the box.

I’ve been reading non-fiction these past few months, mostly about chaos magic and esoteric studies. I read a couple of male erotica stories while in the hospital and found they filled the well for Maxwell. I tried to read a few other urban fantasy stories, picking up boxed sets, but they were garbage and disappointing.

I’m tempted to write another novel with Mike and his apprentice Ash. I just need to come up with a reason.

17

03/19

Hard work

7:35 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: Brothers of the Zodiac - Air,Grimaulkin,Life Sucks,Writing

On Kill Zone, a blog I read, someone wrote the seven rules of writing. One of them is what I’ve been working on this whole week.

Writing is a solitary and thoughtful process.

Let me explain what I’ve been doing. I’ve been trying to edit. Word on my Windows computer seems to be corrupted, but on my iMac it works fine. I edited a whole bunch of stories for Grimaulkin Collected before trying it on the Mac, and the formatting has come out all screwy.

I have three stories left to write in Grimaulkin Collected (yes, still the same three as last week), and I have one story to edit on the iMac. The thing is the editor has suggested that I engage the characters more in this story.

So in between fighting off exhaustion, being still sick, and decluttering my house, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. The problem with thinking is that I feel that I haven’t been producing. There’s no words on the page. I’ve been trying to think of Ash and his interaction with Mike–because in the story right now, Ash is a paper character.

With all the other stuff going on, it’s very hard for me to concentrate on getting this/these stories done. I suspect that as soon as some of these stressors ease up, I’ll be able to concentrate on getting back into writing again. Hopefully by the end of this week.

In other news, Air’s audiobook should be coming out very soon. I listened to “Libra” this morning and wondered who the hell wrote this–it’s really good. I love when that happens.

10

03/19

Editing

12:53 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Grimaulkin,Inspiration,Life Sucks,Writing,Yellowtree

I will admit, I did some writing when I was in the hospital. When I got home, I typed it up and sent it to my editor.

Not my best work.

The stories that I had done before the hospital were pretty good. And one of the stories I wrote in the hospital, I thought, was going to be a hit. Not quite.

I totally missed characterization of one of the main characters, having him be a cardboard cut out, and I didn’t realize it. This is what happens when you’re on drugs in the hospital. (lol)

I’m so glad I have an editor who is honest enough to tell me where I went wrong and what I need to do to improve the story. Because that’s what the point of an editor is: to tell you what’s good and what might need improvement. Line editing is something almost anyone can do. But editing both the story and silly things like punctuation and the overuse of words (mine is “just”) takes a special kind of person.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been editing. I have to rewrite my last story that I sent him, and I have three stories to go for Grimaulkin Collected. For some reason, though, these three stories seem to be the hardest to generate. I have them at top of mind, but I can’t seem to get started. I don’t understand why.

The other thing is what am I going to write next? I’ve been writing shorts for about a year now that I’ve almost forgotten how to write novels. I tried with Yellowtree, and it came out like crap. That is causing a writer’s block: What next? There has to be a What Next…

I’m so jealous of people who can writer 100K novels, when I have to struggle to write 30K books. I used to be able to write 50-60K without breaking a sweat. I feel like I need to get something out there, something fast. I also write like a journalist, not a novelist, so description is extra-far down the list of things I need to write.

I have three stories to get done by the end of the month. Provided I don’t get sick again.

02

03/19

Home again

4:24 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Blood From a Stone,Grimaulkin,Life Sucks

So while at the hospital, I thought I could get some writing done.

Nope.

I was so sick. So I know better now. Going into the hospital is not a vacation.

I’ve finished about 2/3 of the stories for the Grimaulkin Collected anthology. I have submitted for Corporate Catharsis. I’m not submitting for the ARIA anthology this year, though–mostly because I can’t think of anything to write.

Max’s next novel was sent to the editor for a quick read-through. He approved, so I’m planning on working on that next.

I’m trying to think up a new work, and I’m tempted to go back to my first novel that I wrote when I was fifteen, pulling out that character and rewriting that story.

17

02/19

No longer a blank page

I finally sat down this morning and went back to writing for Grimaulkin Collected. After being sick for two weeks, I just couldn’t get the gumption to write.

Luckily, I had written the summary for the Knight in the Atheneum, a story of rebellion and return. My goal is to write that story today.

Yesterday I went to the Cumberland Monastery’s Author Expo and sold one Homecoming book. Which was better than some other people. Besides, I was there to network mostly, not necessarily sell books.

I have asked to assist in the editing of our local Association of Rhode Island Authors Anthology this year. I have nothing to submit, to tell you the truth, as my time this year seems to be spent on health and getting the books out for Paper Angel Press.

My newest book, Air, is out under the Zarra Knightley imprint, if you want to check that out.

What I’m reading
Memory and Metaphor.
I normally don’t like sci-fi. but this is really well-written, and is keeping my attention. However, there’s a couple of books I have on Kindle Unlimited that I want to read before my subscription expires next month.

The Snarky Writer
I’ve posted a few things on this page. It’s a fun page to see how the writing life has affected us as writers in strange and weird ways–interactions between friends and coworkers and even strangers.

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