Archive for the ‘Sci-fi’ Category

As I sip my coffee and get ready to get ready for the busy work day ahead, I am overjoyed by the fact that I managed to finish my husband’s fighting tunic on time–early, even! Okay, so it’s only a day early, but still, it’s done. Not sewing at the last minute on the drive up to war, not sewing it at war…done.

There is still some trim to get sewn onto his “Grand Court” tunic, and some minor embroidery to do on the bottom hem, but that isn’t going to be worn until Saturday night, so I have time to finish at war (and actually planned to, anyway). BUT the major major had-to-be-done-before-we-left sewing is complete. The War Crunch (the SCA version of the Con Crunch) is pretty much over with. I may even be starting to get excited about it.

The drama still looms. Less than 36 hours away…not something I want to think about. But it sits in the back of my mind, festering, and I’m sure it won’t go away until the whole mess is over.

I fear that it won’t be over, though.

I shouldn’t let that get to me though. Then the other person will have won. I should just enjoy my war and try to keep a stiff upper lip, or whatever.

Book 1’s editing has taken a back seat to other, more pressing projects, which is disappointing but something that I guess as an author working with a publishing company I just have to deal with. I can’t force everybody to my timetable–self publishing spoiled me for that, I think. I’ll wait, though. Bide my time, occupy myself with other things–maybe even get back to work on Book 2 rewrites.

Time will tell.


Finally! After weeks of waiting and rescheduling and poor timing, my sword tattoo is done! The tattoo artist’s name is Amanda Jiminez at Battleship Tattoo (to give credit where credit’s due) and here’s the outcome:


I’m ecstatic! I love it and can’t wait to show it off at Estrella War next week.

This has taken a majority of my mind off of the continuing drama, but I know it’s just a proverbial band-aid on a bullet wound. If that’s a proverb….if not, it should be. Can we coin that phrase? Let’s coin that.

I still have a few things to make/stitch, but the majority of it is done. A tunic to finish (though most of it is cut out and much of it is sewn) and some trim to stitch onto another tunic…that’s about it that I can think of right now. Oh, and some little piddly stuff to do, but that stuff is minor and less time-consuming than the above-mentioned stuff. These things also can help take my mind off of the drama things, though only temporarily, and mostly only when I have to get out the seam ripper. Gods, I hate seam ripping.

Book 1 is still in the editor’s hands, but I’m waiting patiently because I know she’s been quite sick recently. I totally understand that and have no ill feelings on it (ha! pun!). I’d like to get back to writing, but….maybe after Estrella. Right now, my time is pulled in other directions.

Two more work days until we leave for war.

Let the games begin.

It’s almost the weekend. Just a meeting and half a work day (theoretically), then I’m free until Tuesday.

Well, not completely free. I have sewing to do, of course (though I’m farther along than I expected to be), and my husband and I are going out of town so we can do some “war prep” of another kind, and I have an appointment to get yet another mole removed. That all aside, though, I am mostly free.

I’ll be so glad when war is over. I’m sure in the long run it’ll be fun, but there’s the pre-war stress that is really getting to me. Deadlines and projects and drama are all pressing in to create a ticking time bomb that hopefully won’t explode. Implode? Some kind of plode-ing.

The writing has, sadly, been put on hold while I try to get our garb and other things ready for war. Book 1 is in editor’s hands right now, but she is sick so it will be a few days before I anticipate any kind of return. Health comes first; I, of all people, should know that. Book 2 is still stalled because I have to basically reboot, and I’m not 100% sure how to go about it. I know what needs to happen, but how to preserve as much of what I’ve already written without having to do a complete rewrite? Yeah, not so much.

There will also be projects post-war, of course. Apron dress, underdress, “bib”-thingie, embroidery on all of the above, A&S projects, illumination/calligraphy, etc. etc. etc. Lots to keep me occupied.

If I can just survive the war, that is….


Posted: January 25, 2018 in #dystopian, #publishing, Critique, Novel, Sci-fi, Writing

Can’t ever make things easy for myself, can I? I think I finally figured out how to fix my problems with Book 2’s first draft. The problem with the fix to the problems? I’m probably going to have to rewrite 90+% of the damn thing.

It started innocently enough. I was thinking about the working title when I realized: the title had been intended for X to happen, but X never came close to happening. Y, Z, Q, R, and W happened, but X kind of got lost in all the other stuff that came up. Characters went off all willy-nilly and ignored the direction I wanted to give them.

My creative drive is renewed now, though, and I think if I just open a new Word document and copy/paste all the keepers I’ll have a decent start. Re-start. Whatever.

The Creative Development team at Rhetoric Askew are still hard at work with me trying to make Book 1 the best it can be before publication, but there’s still a lot to do. I’m a stage where they’ve got the manuscript hostage for edits right now, so I can only do so much of the stuff until I get it back. So once I acknowledge some folks and blurb the thing (and maybe write another 3-4 author bios in the hope that one sounds decent), I can dive into Book 2 until it’s time to return to Book 1.

Oops! I did it again … telling, telling, telling. Many authors will relate on this one: the “show, don’t tell” dilemma. I have been particularly guilty of telling too often, and in my rereading of Book 2 (which, granted, is just in its first set of revisions following a very rough first draft) I see that I have quite the workload ahead of me.

I’m getting better at the showing thing, but I have a lot of fixing to do for Book 2 to eliminate the telling. I don’t know how I put so much of it in there without realizing it, but what’s told is told and I have to un-tell it … somehow.

There’s another problem that I see after looking at my work with recently-critiqued eyes: exposition. Yeah. I got some of that going, too. I took it out of Book 1 (based on said critiques), but I worry that the point isn’t going to get across with the way I took it out. There are things that I feel aren’t explained adequately, major plot points, but I’m at a loss as to how to convey the things without telling and without boring the reader. It’s not something I think beyond my ability to do, but the fact that I can’t figure it out right away is frustrating.

It doesn’t help that I think about other series that I’ve read, and that I know the exposition is often there to quickly explain what happened in the last book, a “Previously, on … ” kind of thing that you see in TV shows, if you will. So it happens in publication all the time, right? So–why am I concerned? I guess I’m trying to predict what issues the publishers will have with the next book, and even though I see this type of thing quite frequently when I’m reading I still envision my publishers’ potential comments, and it is throwing me.

Maybe I need to back off and not worry about the second book for right now. Take some (more) time off from it and mull a bit. I don’t know. I think I’m overthinking.

Life is like a TARDIS, and right now my life is a bit wibbly-wobbly.

Let me clarify: I’m existing in multiple eras at the same time, and it’s kind of weird to think about.

I’m living in the past (the SCA). I’m working in the present. And I’m writing in the future.

So, depending on the day, I could exist in three different “times” in less than twenty-four hours. For instance, right now I’m doing medieval-era embroidery. Later, I’ll be doing some modern kitchen clean-up and laundry. And spaced throughout the day, as I’m doing these other things, I’ll probably be writing a century or so into the future. Kind of cool, but kind of confusing if you’re not used to it.

Part of the way I deal with my temporal dysplasia is by compartmentalizing. Not the most healthy of psychological mechanisms to use, but it’s one that seems to work for me. When I’m at work, the SCA and my writing are at the back of my mind at best. In the SCA, I’m oblivious to the work aspect of things, and I only write during times when I can pull myself away from the past. When I’m writing, forget the rest of the time stream; I’m in the future of my own creation, and that’s that.

Well, maybe not quite that simple. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, the streams cross. I have sword jewelry that I wear to work. I carry my phone with me at SCA events. And that future? It’s based on tidbits of the present.

I guess the reason that I can’t completely separate things is because time isn’t a straight line, at least not from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint. It’s more of a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.

Well, it’s done: my latest revisions have been emailed to the publisher. So I’m done, right? WRONG! I’ve got all of Book 2 to rewrite and revise, changing nearly everything in some way or another to accommodate the changes I made to Book 1. It’s going to be tough because there are sweeping changes to make, so I can’t just tweak here and there to fix things. The hazards of writing the next book before the publisher has ok’d the first, I guess.

So off I go, back into the world of my own creation to play God once again.

Things may turn out to be easier now, though, because I have a stronger foundation to build upon. Yeah, I have to cut whole scenes and chapters to make the storyline fit, but I have a more firm starting point from which to venture out and explore.

Will most of what I’ve already written work? Eh, kind of. The dramatic climax, unfortunately, will not, which means it’s pretty much back to the drawing board. Writing board. Well, you know what I mean.

The really good thing, the thing that has me feeling best about this, is that the story still interests me. I can read through it and still enjoy it, even though I’m reading in an analytical sense. My hope is that people reading from a purely entertainment standpoint will enjoy it even more.

Time to make Book 2 shine again. 🙂