25

05/20

Sorry

1:22 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Inspiration,Writing

Welp, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. My life has been busy (even with the Corona Virus).

I’ll let you know, though, that I’m working on a new novel. Well, actually, it’s a rewrite of an old fantasy novel that I did in my 20’s. Now that I’m more mature, I can see silly things I did back then. At least I never used, “He smiled aloud (pet peeve).” But there’s a lot of smiling, looking around, looking at, staring, going, starting, and the word “just” on almost every page.

I’m plowing through it with a notebook at hand, taking notes like, “Describe here!” “More action verbs!” “Details!” “Why is that character doing whatever?” “Does the MC care?”

At the time I wrote it, the MC was an angry young woman who wanted to be a man. (Maybe that was too influenced by the writer at the time.) She let the bad spirit take over and reveled in it. Now, after reading it over the first time, I realized that a conflict may be in order here. Although there’s a lot of action, and it kept my attention, there are a few things here and there that I definitely can improve.

My goal is to get it done by mid-July or August 1 and hopefully have it out early next year, depending on the publishing schedule.

Let me tell you the hook:

What if Northern Maine was host to the biggest Ren Faire EVER? And what if they all weren’t actors?

I’ll leave you with that. I need to work on the elevator pitch next.

25

12/19

Resolved: More Cowbell

12:55 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Inspiration,Life Sucks,Writing

I need to get cracking on writing some stories. I’m involved with a writers’ group now and I have no excuse.

Well, I do. I have no ideas.

But that’s an excuse, not a reason. Being tired is an excuse. Having no time is an excuse. I can’t let that stop me.

I’m thinking of getting back to 800 words; if not daily, then at least three times a week. Maybe on my dialysis days.

My goal is to get a novel out next year. Since Nano was a bust, I have to start with something different. There’s a big market for romance still, but I have such a hard time getting into ti. YA is still a big thing.

What to write, what to write. A whole different genre? Something that brings some order into my chaotic life?

Writing prompts, ahoy.

03

12/19

NaNo, lost.

7:50 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Characters,Inspiration,NaNoWriMo,Writing

By week three, I had lost all interest in The Band Singer, mostly because I was exhausted. On Thanksgiving week, I had planned to wrap it up at least. I couldn’t even get the gumption to go online to a Google Hangout Virtual Write-In. I was in my big comfy chair or in bed most of the weekend, dozing on and off.

Heck, I didn’t even do the podcast. Next week, promise.

Now I’m ready to put that novel aside and start something new. But what? And this time I’m going to plan it out a little more, but not the end. That’s what killed it for me last time. Seeing the end on-screen, even if it was just a blurb, solidified it for me, saying “You’ve written the story.”

I’m going to wait to see where my next idea shows up from. I want to branch out from the Urban Fantasy/Magical Detective genre. But I love mysteries, going way back (Scooby-Doo, anyone?). Though it’s something I like to read, I want to put a different spin on it. I’ve read some real trash in the Urban Fantasy field recently, so I know what I don’t like.

Maybe another Grim story?

13

10/19

Hemming and Hawing

9:39 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: Inspiration,Life Sucks

I’m wishy-washy about a big decision with my job. That’s what’s taking up most of my time recently, the indecision of what one person says in HR versus what another person says. Nobody at HR knows what the hell will happen to me if I make this decision. In the interests of my health, though, I have to make this decision in a way that I don’t like, that will not benefit me, and will cause me problems in the short term.

See, dialysis is a total time sink. Three times a week for six hours: a half hour to put me in the chair, a half hour to disconnect me, four hours in the chair, and half an hour there and back home. I tried to work afterward but I was so exhausted, I just wanted to sleep. I didn’t do much after dialysis.

My boss suggested I take the days off that I have dialysis, which are Tuesday and Thursday. She did some research on it and said that I would probably be too tired to work. Although I protested, I could see her point. I would not be a good functioning member of the team after dialysis. Nor would I be effective after 8 hours.

I found that out on Friday, when by 3 pm I was ready to ask her if I could take a 4 hour PTO because I was a babbling wreck. I thought I knew myself well enough to work 12 hour days. I guess I can’t.

That being said, the whole idea of just resting irritates me. I can’t see myself doing it. I must always be busy, or I’m not functioning. Dialysis, it seems, is kicking my ass in ways I didn’t expect. It’s making me rest, forcing me to stop and reassess.

I don’t like it, not at all.

Now, for writing, I honestly haven’t been doing any of it this week. I had a story idea from a dream but it’s not even a skeleton, it’s a bunch of dislocated ribs. Of course, that’s what you get when you have a dream and try to make a story out of it. I wrote out the bare bones in my journal and I’m a bit meh over it. It doesn’t entice me.

Back to the drawing board.

08

09/19

Back in the saddle?

12:48 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Inspiration,Writing

I was in the hospital for two weeks due to a mental health issue, and realized while I was there that I missed writing.

I was into the game, and work, and other things known as Life, that I didn’t want to write. I didn’t have time or the energy.

So when I got out of the hospital, I let my publisher know that I was going to write something. But I wanted to write a different genre, something that I hadn’t done before.

While cleaning cat puke off a notebook, I realized that this notebook had my notes from a hard science fiction novel I had written in my 20’s. It was very similar to Dune in that it had to do with an alien race finding a mythical person to lead them. However, it took place on Earth.

I hadn’t written hard sci-fi since then and wondered “Why not?” My plan is to write the first chapter, present it to the publisher with a very rough outline of the rest of the book, and see what he thinks.

15

07/19

Finished

12:22 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Characters,Inspiration,Writing

I finally finished Real Magic for Writers. I just need to take a few pictures so that we can have them in the book for illustrations. I just finished sending back the first editorial pass.

The publisher liked the book and is happy with how it turned out. It will be published under Water Dragon Publishing, probably in September, or maybe August if we get everything straight before then.

Meanwhile, I’m coming up with characters in City of Heroes. There’s Maximillian, in charge of a gang called “Maximum Carnage” (Mastermind/Kinetics).

A spider who was able to get his armor off and get out of the network of Arachnos. (No Quarter – spider soldier).

Grimaulkin, of course. (Dark/Fire “sentinel” aka “striker”)

I have 18 characters. Most are level 20 and below, and I have them divided into role-playing, sometimes role-playing, and concept characters.

Come join me on the “homecoming” servers (Yes, I found that amusing). I’m @Grimaulkin

26

05/19

BayCon – go there!

10:12 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: Inspiration,Promotion

Road trip!

No, not really. BayCon is going on in sunny SoCal, and my publisher and two of the authors in Paper Angel Press are going to be there. Go visit!

Writing non-fiction is a little harder than I thought. Some of the items that I’m writing about, I got from other sources but put my own spin on them. I plan on having a bibliography, but do I cite the sources as I go along? I don’t want this to be a research paper – I’ve seen other non-fiction books just mention everything at the end.

I’m writing about summoning your muse. It’s not really “summoning”, more of a “calling to”. I’m running into trouble, again, with source material. I’m getting it from three different sources.

Research is in order.

12

05/19

Switching gears

11:59 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: Inspiration,Writing

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.

21

04/19

12:48 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Blood From a Stone,Inspiration,Promotion,Reading,Review

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.

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.

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