Kismet…or something

After all the worry, stress, and anxiety, things fell into place in a way I never expected.

Followers of this blog might know that I’ve been working on a little thing called a book series, and that I’ve been agonizing over deciding between self publishing and traditional publishing. I was so nervous about the decision that I couldn’t even consider when or how to start the submission process…so imagine my surprise when I got an offer this morning from a friend in publishing for Book 1!

Things are still in the works, but I’m ecstatic. I’m not going to get too excited though, because I still have a ton of work to do on the manuscript. I’m only halfway through on the adverb issue, and I also have the POV problem chapters and the telling and… yeah. Can’t let my head get too big just yet.

I almost–almost–wish I wasn’t at my first out-of-kingdom event. Almost. I’m ready and raring to dig in to revisions. Get this puppy started. Well, not started. But closer to finished.

Finished… and published.

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Just in the neck of time

Almost (mostly) done. Just a few necklines to finish off, and the new tunics for the war in California will be finished. With, oh, 4 or 5 days to spare.

I might even get time to add some trim to another tunic or two.

A bonus is the extra time to add “war paint” to our fencing masks. Thanks to an airbrush, some paints, and a modicum of artistic talent (yeah, right), we can make ourselves more menacing on the field–or something. More visible targets? Yeah. Okay. There’s that. But still…I get to paint stuff.

There’s still a ton to get done social media-wise, but I think I can manage to wrap that up in the morning. Or something. I don’t even know what to do with that at this point. I may be in over my head, but I think once I get a rhythm down it will jive okay.

On the good-news front, I have a potential beta reader for when I have Book 1’s revisions done–thanks to Twitter. (See what I did there? Social media segue.) You see, just about every day I tweet a few lines from the WIP with various hashtags. These hashtags are kinda like weekly “looky what I can do” things, where authors get to show of nuggets of brilliance in the hopes of…well, I don’t know exactly what the point is, beyond gaining a few followers and maybe some readers when the book is finished. I think part of the point is the inherent narcissism that seems to be rampant among writers. “See how witty I am? Read my next book to see what I can really do when not under a 140-character limit!”

Speaking of narcissistic writers, I had quite the ego boost yesterday when my blog views shot up (relatively speaking) after that nonsensical post about not having anything to post. Who would’a thought? My deep, existential stuff often goes unnoticed, but write a few paragraphs of drivel and it gets devoured. Go fig.

I had something else I was going to say, something of moderate importance…but I got distracted by my own thoughts and whatever it was is now unimportant.

Error 404: Title not found

Writer’s block sucks, especially when it’s something as simple as a blog title. Or a blog subject, for that matter.

I could write about the stress of prepping for the upcoming out-of-state war event, but I’ve done enough whining about that. I could write a short story or some flash fiction, but again, writer’s block. I could write about the fact that my industrial piercing’s healed enough for me to put my freaking sword barbell in…but that’s not enough for a whole blog post. Hell, it’s freakin’ National Poetry Day and I got nothing. Zilch. Zippo. Nada.

So what am I even doing writing right now? Honestly, I don’t know. I think I’m avoiding doing any actual work, like finishing the tunics that need to be done before the event or revising Book 1 or hell, even practicing rapier stuff. But no, I’m writing a blog. A nonsensical, pointless blog.

Sometimes I guess you just need to zone a bit. Let that mental jelly ooze out. Barf up all the thoughts that have been upsetting your stomach and then wipe the bile off the corner of your mouth and go on with life.

Okay, maybe that metaphor/analogy/whatever was a little bit gross, but you get the gist of it. Basically, even when I have nothing to write, sometimes I just have to write for the sake of writing.

Perhaps tomorrow–or the next day, or the next–we’ll be back to our semi-regularly scheduled programming.

The long road ahead

Got my critique back on Book 1 of my series….*sigh* Lots of work to do.

I knew I had a lot of “telling,” exposition, wordiness, and adverbs, so those comments weren’t surprising, but I still don’t quite know how to fix the issues. Some pacing issues that I was kind of aware of as well, some that I hadn’t noticed…and a few chapters of different POV that I thought necessary but the readers, not so much. So now I have to also figure out how to convey that info–which my main character has no way of knowing until the end–without switching points of view. Fuck.

It’ll all be worth it in the end, I know, but damn. I’m kind of overwhelmed. Some of the “problems” are part of my personal style, so I have to get into a different mindset to write it “right,” but some of them are things that flustered me to start with and are just beyond my current ability–or maybe just my current confidence–to fix.

The POV thing is really bugging me. I tried to throw in some politics and intrigue and plotting but now what do I do with it? Chuck it all? If I do that, the ending makes no sense. None. It comes out of left field without the snippets of the antagonist’s POV. Hell, the antagonist comes out of left field without them. Although apparently the ending needs a lot of work, too….

There’s a lot of rereading and revising and rereading and brainstorming and crying and tearing my hair out and revising and cursing and… Yeah. It’s like that.

Well, maybe I should take it in stages. Chapter by chapter? Issue by issue? Do I attack the exposition first then the adverbs then the pacing? Ugh. So much all at once. With Whispers of Death, not only was I self-publishing but I was also getting critiques a chapter or two at a time. So it was much less overwhelming as far as fixes go.

I can do this. I have to tell myself that. I can do this. It might take a while, it might take a lot of work, but I can do it. I also have to remind myself that I’m way ahead of schedule as far as where I wanted to be when I made my “new year’s resolution.” I thought it was a reasonable goal to have the first draft of Book 1 finished by the end of the year. Now it’s 2/3 of the way through the year and I’m on like draft 6 or 7 or something crazy like that, plus draft 1 of Book 2 with a few ideas on where to go with Book 3. So I have that going for me.

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this….

So much to do, so little time for nothing

Eight to twelve hours at work five days a week. Either game or events on Saturdays, then Sundays are either visiting with family/doing laundry/rapier practice or more event stuff. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings after work are for exercising, and Friday is more rapier practice. I occasionally get scheduled for a half day here and there, but inevitably someone calls out and I end up working the whole day.

That bugs the ever-living snot out of me. I feel like people see that I’m scheduled off-unless-needed and decide to suddenly be “sick” when they really just want a free day.

Why don’t I get free days? I don’t blame my bosses; they have to staff the clinic as is necessary. I kind of blame my coworkers sometimes though. Okay, most of the time. I mean, do they realize the kind of life I lead? If it wasn’t for my early-morning insomnia I’d never get anything done outside of work. No writing. No sewing. No artwork. Nothing. Just because I’m not out partying every night or don’t have kids to take care of doesn’t mean I don’t have things to do.

I’m tempted to request off more often just to get a break here and there, despite the need for PTO when I actually need the off days. I just can’t seem to catch a break.

Maybe this afternoon I’ll get the half day I was hoping for.

Maybe. But I doubt it.

As I ponder, bright and cheery

Yeah, despite the hour (it’s 4:15 in the morning where I’m at right now), I’m actually in a pretty good mood. I woke up during the night but went back to such a peaceful sleep that I almost feel like I don’t need the coffee I made. (I know better–the rush of a decent night’s sleep will fade once I get to work).

It helps that recent events have given me a boost to the ego. I did well in rapier tournaments at the last two events I went to–well for my experience level, at least–and I even got selected to fight in the finals of last weekend’s tournament despite being eliminated. It was a shock to hear my name called as one of the finalists, but it still felt damn good. No, I didn’t win–but considering I was up against fighters with years of experience compared to my five months and considering I was using a sword length that I’d never used before, I think it’s an accomplishment worth noting.

I’m also enjoying revisions on Book 1 of my series. I should have feedback on the last revision (yeah, I couldn’t resist–I revised before getting my feedback) soon, and it’s exciting to think I’m nearing the next round of edits before I move on to–you guessed it–more revisions. I want this as polished as possible before I work up that last bit of nerve necessary to brave the world of manuscript submission. (I’ll take a rapier fighter with twenty years of experience on me over a query letter any day of the week.)

My industrial piercing is angry at me but otherwise healing well. I often forget it’s there, and I’m super excited to get my sword barbell put in at the end of next month. Because c’mon, swords kick ass…quite literally, in the right hands.

I’ll also be doing more artwork in the coming weeks and months, which will be a boost to the spirits as well. I’d felt like I was in a rut artistically and almost kind of gave up on accomplishing anything worth looking at. I can’t show off the things I make here, but I know the recipients will love them and that’s what really matters.

So there you have it: a good morning. A rarity for sure, but welcome nonetheless.

So a-mused

Finally! After months of next to no real inspiration on the novels I’m working on, I was blessed by my muse with nearly 1000 new words of prose (even with quite a bit of cutting) that I think add depth and clarity to the story. Things that I’d gotten some constructive feedback about, mostly in areas that weren’t clear enough, now seem better and the flow is improved. It feels great to be back at it.

Except…the new inspiration comes at the cost of other things I need to do. Yeah, I’ve got Talk Nerdy With Us work to catch up on, sewing to do, social media stuff to tinker with….I should probably be chiding my muse for her terrible timing. Haha.

Still, I’m glad to have her back. I guess even muses need a vacation every once in a while.