Archive for the ‘Sci-fi’ Category

We did it! After more than a year and a half of planning and building and paperwork and stress, our house is our house. We can sleep and eat and shower and live in it!

The first night went well, though I didn’t sleep any better than usual. Still woke up ass-early in the morning, but I was able to do some revisions on the chaise of the couch while my husband slept soundly, without worrying about typing too loud or finding headphones to listen to music on the laptop.

Yeah, there are boxes everywhere. Yeah, we still don’t have all the smart home stuff fully set up (though I can turn on/off lights and fans and such with my phone or the Echo now). Yeah, there’s still stuff lingering in the apartment. Yeah, we still need to clean the apartment. We have to officially change our address at the post office and numerous other places. We have to get used to driving an extra 20+ minutes to get anywhere compared to the 5-10 minutes it used to take when we lived “in town.” We’ve got stuff that we need to purchase to maintain the land and house and all that. But we’re home.

Rory and River love it. They were apprehensive at first, but once they realized they were here to stay and they had twice the space to explore as the apartment, they were all about the house. There’s new furniture and old to climb on, new windows to look out (with windowsills they both fit on), and a nice, new concrete floor to lie on when they need to cool off.

This upcoming long weekend will be a huge help in getting settled. We’re going to see Solo on Saturday (and making an out-of-town trip for it), but otherwise we don’t really have anything planned. We can take a breath and focus and get things organized. Just knowing that we have that little bit of extra time helps me relax and get out of OMG-I-have-so-much-stuff-to-do-and-no-time mode.

Revisions are coming along again now that we’re moved. I’m about halfway through a preliminary read of the edits, but of course I have to review everything a couple of times before resubmitting. After all, this is the LAST batch of edits. The LAST revisions before publication. I can’t say when publication is yet, because I haven’t been officially announced by the publisher, but as soon as I can I’ll be blasting it all over the Interwebs. (Which reminds me, I need to get back to actually utilizing Twitter to grow a fanbase/network and to start marketing.) I’ve given my publishers an open invite to stay with us should they ever come to Arizona, and there are tentative plans in the works to get some booths set up at local conventions once the book is published.

As soon as this first book is “put to bed” I’m going to get cracking on simultaneous edits/rewrites on Book 2 and SCA Arts & Sciences projects. I have to learn/write the documentation for the one thing I’ve made so far, finish the research on the research paper I plan on writing, and potentially make a third thing for entry. I’ve gone from entering just in the local Baronial Arts & Sciences competition to entering as part of a household in another Barony. Still a lot to do in just a month or two, but I’ll be okay. I just need to breathe and not stress out too much about any of it. Of course, to make the third as-yet-to-be-determined thing for A&S I’ll need a new chair for the craft room. Turns out the carefully-planned room (which is still awesome) does not have enough room for the futon I used to sit on, so I need an actual, like, office chair or something. Oh yeah, and I have to put all the crap in there away, or at least “away enough” to where I can start on the third project. At least the research paper doesn’t need to be constructed, just written and printed.

We have no less than three house parties in the works now, with one huge SCA party planned, one party for family and coworkers, and one party (date as-yet-to-be-determined) for close friends. I’m hoping to get at least some of the “rapier obstacle course” that I plan on making done by the SCA party, so we can have some er, party games. Yeah. Party games. With mutherfuckin’ swords. Hell yeah.

Lots to do, but much less pressure now.

Now that I’m home.

Home, sweet home.

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I received the best email this morning: the previews for the promotional materials for my book! They look great, and it’s lit a new fire under me to get my revisions done ASAP.

Unfortunately, I’m still mid-move, so that throws a bit of a wrench into things. I can’t just wake up early and open the laptop and get cracking. I have to pack boxes and get those things ready. That’s in the mornings; the evenings (after work) are for unpacking said boxes in the house. We’ve gotten maybe half of the apartment moved over, but the remaining half is the tough stuff. Clothes, dishes, electronics, deep freeze, food, bed, TV, and all the little piddly stuff that’s been left. I don’t know where I’m going to get the time. Well, I suppose I could cut back on what little sleep I get….

I’ll get it done by the deadline. I have to. I’m not giving myself any other option.

It’ll be nice to finally be in our house… But I can’t let my guard down. I’ve got to remember that I’ve still got work to do.

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:

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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….

Sequella

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.