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.

06

06/21

War Mage

3:40 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,Iron Butterfly,Methods of Writing,War Mage

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.

31

05/21

Writing for the week

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?

  • Post “Descent, Introduction”
  • Edit War Mage (which is located at the bottom of my Books To Read pile)
  • Read over/preliminarily edit A Rook Given
  • Get back to writing A Rook Given
  • Plan the next M/M Romance for Max (Iron Butterfly?)

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

  • Twitter (Monday update) and Instagram (Friday update): @MaxwellTAuthor
  • Facebook (Wednesday update): MaxwellTAuthor

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.

14

04/21

“A Rook Given” – 13,000

7:39 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,War Mage

I’m going along pretty well with the plot, writing this shitty first draft. I already can see things that I need to fix and they’re bothering me as I write. I want to go back and fix them now.

My kid read some of it over my shoulder one day. “Ugh! God stuff!” Well, there is an angel and a jealous Old Testament God at the center of the story. I don’t put God in a good light here.

Did some more editing on War Mage. It’s really not that bad. I sent it to the wrong editor when I first did it; that editor didn’t like speculative fiction that much (I don’t think). Plus it does have a few typos and grammar issues. But the research is solid so I don’t have to fact-check everything. I have a habit of researching while I write, which ends up as info-dumps. I need to remember to spread the information out.

I purchased a World Building notebook (from Australia, no less, so it’ll take a few months to get to me) which was also a digital download (I’m a sucker for FB ads). Because A Rook Given is set in contemporary times (magic is considered miracles or coincidence) a lot of the questions aren’t pertinent, but they make me think. Maybe I’ll develop War Mage‘s world in a little more detail. I noticed I need to come up with different magic systems than the Ceremonial Magic that I’m familiar with. A Rook Given discusses Hoodoo and Conjure magic, considered “low magic” because it uses common, everyday, easy-to-get items to perform, along with a little bit of “high magic”. Magicians in my world are specialists, elitist, and don’t share secrets with each other.

A Rook Given is probably not going to be published until next year, which gives me plenty of time to write it, edit it, and polish it up before I present it to the editor. I don’t usually submit to critique groups, mostly because they all have their own agenda. I can’t present it to people who don’t read my genre. It’ll get ripped apart. I don’t need that.

Back to it!

27

10/19

Almost there!

8:38 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: Dark Mystic Quill,NaNoWriMo,Reading,Review,War Mage

The good thing about dialysis is I have time to read books. I broke down and got Kindle Unlimited, so I could get some fiction books for “free” ($9.99/month). I also purchased a few Kindle editions of books that are best sellers or recent sellers. I downloaded a few novel-writing workbooks, too, that I’m working with in my journal.

So far, I have a few scenes for NaNoWriMo’s story. I need subplots. I’m making up this entire thing. It’s not going to be an accurate representation of Latino life, and I’m not appropriating that culture for this. This story is mine and mine alone, and is never going to get published because I’m not backing it up with facts. You know me, I research things to death before writing anything, which is why War Mage took me so long to write. I finally threw my hands up and just said, “Forget it,” and wrote War Mage just to finish the story.

I found the original story in one of my notebooks, and I’m kicking myself for not sticking with that original story. It would have been better, I think.

I read most of a book called Shadow Company by Michael Hesse. So far I’m the only reviewer on Goodreads for him. I gave him four stars for military accuracy and interesting story world, but the character had been through too much by the time I got almost half-way done with it, that I didn’t want to bother anymore. I didn’t realize that it was a 500 page novel, either.

Shadow Company has a bit of “The Chosen One” trope, which I have outgrown since reading the Dragonlance series and attempting (every few years) to read the entire Lord of the Rings series. But I would suggest you read it if you like military fantasy like I do.

I plan on doing a podcast today in anticipation of NaNo, and hope to do podcasts every week updating people on my progress. I’m tempted to write the story upstairs on my Mac, without any distractions other than some music and tarot cards for jumping off points.

05

11/18

Welcome!

2:10 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Grimaulkin,NaNoWriMo,Promotion,War Mage,Writing,Yellowtree

Hello! Welcome new people that I may have met at RI ComiCon; or if not, just welcome anyway.

I am L.A. Jacob, and I’ve been writing for about 30 (mumble-mumble) years. Homecoming was my first published novel, in June 2015. I’ve since published the Grimaulkin series and a quick sequel to Homecoming, War Mage.

My plans next year is for an anthology for Grimaulkin which will be the backstory of some of the characters in the novel, including how Grimalkin appeared, who Ritter is, what Chevalier is, and how the man in the gray suit ended up at the Atheneum Library.

Also, I hope the new book I’m writing for this month’s National Novel Writing Month, Yellowtree, will be good enough for publishing some time next year. It was going to take place in Florida, but I noticed there was a real interest in local areas, so I’m going to set it in Jamestown, RI and go from there.

Speaking of RI ComiCon, I’d like to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who purchased books and stopped by my booth in the Dunk. I went over and above my target; in fact, I ran out of stock on Saturday! Thank you, thank you, for stopping by. Next year, we may do it again – with more and bigger and better stories available for your consumption!

30

09/18

Flotsam

1:41 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Brothers of the Zodiac - Fire,Inspiration,War Mage

Next weekend is Autumnfest, so I’ll be there for three days with Paper Angel Press stuff, in addition to my own stuff.

I have a podcast ready at Dark Mystic Quill, and it’s about history in writing.

I’m still working on Air, which is due in February. Fire will be out in October. War Mage is finished and ready to be out on the 1st. It’s short, and I apologize, but I couldn’t get a whole novel no matter how I tried.

I have no idea what to do for NaNoWriMo. My Vegas Fey character is intriguing, with a communicative sword,”with the attention span of a gnat on meth.” I’ll have to take him out of Vegas, though. Put him off the coast of Newport maybe? On a houseboat? Hmmmm…

Time to break out the little booklets and plot books for ideas.

23

09/18

Autumnfest next weekend

War Mage¬†is finished, and books are on their way to me. I’ll be at the Autumnfest next week in Woonsocket, RI for the whole weekend, selling my books and books from Paper Angel Press. They will include Books 1 and 2 of the Glass Bottle series, Building Baby Brother and Children of the Wrong Time.

My books are Homecoming, War Mage, Grimaulkin, Grimaulkin Tempted, Grimaulkin Redeemed, and the erotica series, Water and Earth. (Fire is later this month.)¬† In addition, my free short stories “Self-Defense”, “The Joint”, and “Family Bonds” will be available FOR FREE. FREE, FREE, FREE!

Lastly, I’ll offer Tarot readings for any purchase.

I’m working on research for Air’s first story: a Revolutionary War spy. Guess what sign that is?

I’m writing on my lunch hour. I get about a hand-written 8×10 page finished every day. I can’t seem to write the sex scenes, though. It’s like the environment isn’t conductive to that kind of thing.

02

09/18

Aftermath, and forward

I sold a total of 18 books at WorldCon, my new record. I doubt I’ll beat that record at RI Comicon, but I’ll try.

Fire is being edited as we speak; “War Mage” is next on the docket. I sent Blood From a Stone for a read-over to see if it’s worth producing. What’s next is a story for a possible anthology next year. I’m writing character sketches about them right now, and the story is relatively formed in my head.

One thing I’ve found out in my writing and editing is that I have to work on my endings. They seem abrupt and quick, coming out of nowhere and just “ending”. I need to learn to pull them out a little more and make them not sou out of left-field.

I noticed how my writing has improved and changed over the years by looking at “Aries” versus, say, “Leo”. Aries is full of detail, superfluous in places, showing off my knowledge. Leo tells the damn story. As my editor says, “Your writing is clean and sparse.” It tells the story without going off on tangents or down rabbit holes. Aries didn’t do that. Aries is my “I know a lot about WW2, and I’m going to show you.”\ I wrote that story off my obsession with WW2, which is why it goes down rabbit holes and goes into detail.

Even seeing Homecoming versus Grimaulkin Redeemed, I can see the difference. Perhaps my writing is getting better. Perhaps I’ve found my voice, finally.

What next? Well, I could continue the zodiac theme by dividing them into Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs. I could have the planets as Gods on Earth. I was going to do the seven deadly sins, but that’s been done so much. Have the seven graces been done? That would be a switch. That would be Max’s story.

As for me…the short story, maybe some poetry. An anthology of stories from Grimaulkin.

We shall see.

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