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

07/21

What to write…

8:00 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,Bitten or Born,Carnival Farm,War Mage

In the hopper are War Mage, Carnival Farm, and “Death”, a short story for October.

I wrote a little bit in A Rook Given, but I stalled really quickly. In the middle of the month, I started writing a story called Bitten or Born. Not sure if it’s a novel, novella, short story, or what.

It’s a spin-off of a character in War Mage, Director’s Cut. Kurt is a werewolf, and has been in the Army for six years. Now that his tour is finished, he’s moved to New Hampshire where there are way too many werewolves. I’ve plotted most of the story, but the problem is, the plot is too short. Of course, this plot is the main plot, no sub-plots inserted yet.

Once I got that plotted out, suddenly A Rook Given seemed clear. It was like I had this other bit I needed to push out in order to continue with Rook. Bitten has male and female characters that have no romance. It took me days of thinking and five minutes with my Muse to figure out how to do that.

In the meantime, I’ve been watching too much Marvel. Bad influences.

21

03/21

“Carnival Farm” finished!

5:07 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Carnival Farm,Writing

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.

07

03/21

No more (writing) books!

12:53 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Carnival Farm,Inspiration,Reading,Writing

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.

21

02/21

One month to go

5:28 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Carnival Farm,Life Sucks,Writing

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.