Creating a Fantasy Race

Some more reading I’ve been doing on fantasy world building. So far, I’ve only read the first part of Creating a Fantasy Race but it’s already chock full of useful considerations.

In other news, I finished writing the opening scene for Blood of Midnight: A Hollow Vengeance yesterday. Beginnings are always hardest. I shall have to rely on my Writers’ Circle peers to assist me in purifying it of suckage.

Today: more work on Hollow Vengeance, editing a short story, and possibly writing up a description of the Bonavista Writers’ Circle meeting format given that we’ve had a huge influx of new members. All-around good news.

It Looks Different!

Yeah, I decided I’d update the background for the site as I’m sure you’re tired of looking at the cover art of Blood of Midnight: The Broken Prophecy over and over again all over the page. … okay maybe that was just me. Ha! Anyhow, I hope you like it.

As I write this, yet another proof is on its way to me. Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have a paperback ready for mass distribution. I’m sorry it’s taken so long. I didn’t anticipate that the wait-times for tweaking things would be so extreme.

Basically, what I’ve been doing is working with my graphic designer trying to find the best method for compensating for this odd spinal drift that Lulu’s printer has going on. We’ve followed the uploading guidelines to a T and I’m pretty sure there’s a discrepancy between the measurements of their template and what actually comes out of the printer. I’m also pretty sure that their support team doesn’t believe me when I say this. In any case, the first edition limited run that’s still available for a week or so has a pure white spine with the title, author name, and spine art at the bottom printed on it. However, this lovely layout is really difficult to line up when it actually goes to print so I’ve had to mess around with getting the cover art to wrap around the spine. Both versions are beautiful. Kudos to Kristy for her mad skillz. I just wish that I could have had my first choice without having to muck about so much.

You see, each time I try something different, I have to upload the new cover art, order another proof copy (which costs me money), and wait for it to be printed and arrive at my door before I can say yea or nay to approve it for mass distribution. Currently, it is available for purchase at Lulu HERE but after it’s approved for expanded distribution, it will also be available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, etc.

Thank you all, once again, for being so patient with me. The learning curve for this endeavour has been an extreme one!

Play-Doh & Updates

So I got myself some Play-Doh from the dollar store because I felt like having some childish fun.

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I made a flower.

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And a very unseasonal pumpkin.

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And a few other things that I didn’t bother to take pictures of. Man, that smell as soon as you open the little container … takes me right back to my childhood. 

In other news, I’m working on some boring behind-the-scenes stuff, which is why you haven’t been hearing much from me. Tinkering with cover layouts, working out the plot for the sequel, and organizing the thousands of files I have on my computer so I can actually find stuff when I want it.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a good one!

Fun with Writing

Oh man, it’s been a great weekend. We had a Writers’ Circle meeting on Saturday during which I wrote a children’s story for the first time in my life. I didn’t think I could do it. In fact, I totally failed the first exercise we did out of complete ignorance for the genre. On the second try, however, I experienced one of the most lovely things that a writer possibly can: a “what if” storm. 

I’m not sure if there’s a technical term for it, but sometimes when you present an idea to a group of people, it just snowballs and imaginations come alive, suggesting other endings, suggesting a novel based on the story, chattering away about the possibilities that could spring from such humble beginnings. The pinnacle of joy for me is inspiring other people to make cool things of their own, like a gardener finally seeing the reward of his flowers blooming after sowing seeds and tending and hoping. I know I’m waxing poetic, but bear with me. Sometimes, in this life, we experience moments in which it all seems worthwhile, and when I do, I like to share them with the world. I like to write them down and put them somewhere for me to find later on when I’m out of coffee and feeling crappy.

In other news, today, I start the last runthrough of editing for Blood of Midnight: The Broken Prophecy before it goes back to the editor for formatting. It looks like I’m going to make my deadline afterall!

And last, but not least, I’m up to 63% on my NaNoWriMo novel and loving it. The dreaded Week Two seems to have had no effect on me. Score!

Tunes for Writing

Hi guys! At present, I have chapters 1 through 10 of Blood of Midnight: The Broken Prophecy submitted back to my editor and things are looking great. I’m about ready to start posting some samples of the novel here for you to see if you’d like to read the rest when it comes out but I want to be absolutely sure that it’s as polished and nice as it can be. You know I wouldn’t give you crap to read!

Other than that little announcement, I’ve found a great resource for writing. It’s a site that lets you search for music playlists based on mood.

Stereomood.com seems to be rather new but I’ve already discovered its usefulness. All I have to do is type in the mood I want to set for the scene and it pops up a playlist of songs that people have tagged for that particular mood. 

I’m not about to throw away all my youtube playlists but I’m eager to see where this resource goes in the future. Take a crack at it. At worst, you’ll discover some cool new songs.

A Life Beyond Books

Yeeeep, I had to take a break from editing today. There were just too many other matters to be handled. Someone’s got to make the yogurt, wash the clothes, make the holiday gifts and today that someone was me!

I am, however, still rocking the wordcount in NaNoWriMo and if I win this year, I’m going to get myself a NaNo hoodie. Something to strive for! I’m considering posting up some of my NaNo book as it unfolds but I’m kind of sheepish about it. It’s so raw and unedited and … yeaaaah. Eep!

Maps and Mishaps

So! The good news is that I drew up a political map of all the kingdoms north of the Great Barrier Desert for Blood of Midnight. It really helped clarify what all is going on in the area, who is doing what, who owes loyalty to whom and why. I also finished editing chapter 19, the final chapter of the book.

The bad news is, I must have forgotten to save the edits on my first chapter  so I had to do them all over again.

Well, win some and lose some. In any case, my first chapter is once again in the hands of my editor and soon the others will follow. Woohoo!

Rockin the Wordcount

I hit the 25% point in my NaNoWriMo today! I also went crazy and edited an extra chapter yesterday night. (Aka: 3AM this morning …) I’m really enjoying the story I’m writing so far. It’s way more intense and deeply personal than I thought it would be. A happy surprise!

I’ve also been successfully infecting even my friends who aren’t doing NaNo to write thousands of words. Mwahahaha! I shall spread my madness everywhere! No one is safe!

Make good art!

Birdies and Bruises

Here, have a picture of a bluejay for no reason.

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This little dude was giving the the side-eye while I was fetching some more coffee to fuel the headlong plunge through editing chapter seventeen this morning. The good news is: It’s done!

The bad news has nothing to do with writing but I managed to hurt my leg practising my ninjutsu rolls last night. Owie! I have my 8th kyu test coming up this month and I really want to do well. Vertigo makes rolls and flips and such really difficult but I keep trying. Overriding the body’s instinct to lock up solid when I lose my balance is something I’ve been working at. Some days, it works well. Others, it doesn’t. It can be really frustrating. You can know exactly what it is you’re supposed to do, exactly what it is you’re doing wrong, you’re determined to do it correctly … and then the body just does whatever it wants regardless of the commands you send it.

But, I won’t give up. I love the art. My balance has gotten a lot better. My rolls may not be lovely and fluid but I can still deal with being thrown or knocked down without hitting my head or hurting my back or breaking a wrist. That’s definitely something.

Now, time to see if I can squeeze some more out of the muse. Maybe I’ll do some reading to feed it first. Game of Thrones isn’t going to read itself after all!