Cleaned house. Paid bills. Set up excel spreadsheets. National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow, and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. This will be the sequel to the space opera novel I started for NaNoWriMo2019. I would really like to get my 50000 words done during the first half of the month, so I can focus on prepping for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the meantime, I found yet another variant on my unofficial NaNoWriMo theme song:
I am in pretty good spirits right now, in the afterglow of completing a polished draft of my longest work ever. However, I was seeing some mopeyness and doom and gloom elsewhere on the web, so I thought I would post this prayer. It is not original to me: even Wikipedia allows that it dates back to the fifteenth century. This prayer, and the Lady it is addressed to, have always been helpful to me.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
I finished polishing the space opera today. Final wordcount: 110685. Now it is in the hands of my volunteer first readers. Right now, I’m hoping for a Christmas/
Boxing Day Feast of St. Stephen release, but that depends on what the first readers find, whether I can come up with a cover that I’m happy with, and what kind of mental shape I’m in come December, when I’ve finished with NaNoWriMo2020. In the meantime, victory dance!
There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world, most of which I can’t do anything about. I will vote in my country’s elections when circumstances permit, I will pray for a good outcome from them, and I will try to be extra-nice to the poll-watchers in the family, because they deserve it. Aside from that, all I can do is focus on my day job and the writing….
State of the Space Opera: Somewhere between 66%-70% revised and polished. If I am very fortunate, I will be done with that by the end of October 2020 and hand it over to my volunteer editors/proofreaders for review. If things work out, I will spend December 2020 prepping it for publication.
State of the Space Opera’s Sequel: Completed a rough outline in Excel, ran it through Word, and imported to Scrivener. I hope to start writing it on November 1 for NaNoWriMo2020.
State of the Space Opera Series as a Whole: Right now, I am not sure whether it wants to be 3 books or 4. If the first two don’t sell significantly better than the Jaiya metaseries did, the space opera series will definitely end up as a trilogy.
Further down the pipeline: revision and cover refresh for the Ancestors of Jaiya series, along with a single volume collection. A concept for a high fantasy series: just a character, plus a vague idea of the setting. (This is about the stage of development the space opera was at in 2015-2016.)
Yesterday, I celebrated my country’s freedom from bad cooking, Received Pronunciation, and taxation without representation. Tomorrow, I will celebrate my temporary freedom from first drafting. You see, tonight I finished the first draft of the longest book I have ever written. The space opera I’ve been trying to write for years finally came together.
A few notes on the process:
I try to stay away from political arguments in general, because they get me too aggravated to do useful things, like writing or cooking. Right now, with the entire political spectrum of my country locked into DOOM AND GLOOM mode, it’s particularly aggravating.
So, instead, Continue reading “A Bit of Poetry for a Dark Mood”
Three Books in One!
Hello! I hope you and your families are all well in this time of uncertainty. While on administration leave due to COVID19, I finally found time to replace the cover art on the original Jaiya Series and compile the three individual novels into one volume. This compilation is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Google, and Kobo. Just click on the name of the bookstore of your choice to be taken to it. I’ve included a synopsis for the collection below.
Journey to the country of Jaiya, in a world not quite like ours. Here, humans ride trains, drive cars, and use cell phones, but they share their world with insect people and trollfolk, and stranger things lurk in the shadows…
Marrying a Monster: As a favor to her parents, Rina agrees to come back to her hometown and take part in an old local custom: a symbolic marriage between the town’s women and the Mountain King, a mythical guardian spirit no one really believes in. But the Mountain King really exists: a monstrous being that feeds on fear and suffering. Rina’s only hope for survival may be Vipin, the dashing scholar hunting the Mountain King, but Vipin is hiding a few secrets of his own…
Waking the Dreamlost: In a place like Jaiya, a woman can’t just back out of an arranged marriage to a bigshot, even if her amnesia keeps her from remembering when and how she agreed to it. Her engagement to a politician makes Itana a target for terrorist attacks, but a former soldier named Marish keeps rescuing her, and gives her a chance at real love. She doesn’t remember hiring him to find out who is stealing her memories, but he is determined to finish the job…or die trying!
Loving a Deathseer: In a place like Jaiya, a servant has to obey his employers’ every whim, even if the whim isn’t in the job description. Erno spends his days rushing around while his wealthy employers bark orders at him. By night, he cases out his employers’ homes and sells the information to his burglar friends. He has only three rules: don’t get close to anyone, don’t let anyone get hurt, and don’t let anyone get framed for the crime. But his latest job will plunge him into a world of political intrigue,and test his rules to the breaking point. His only chance at redemption lies in the love of a persecuted young woman named Zeni, with the power to foresee his death….
Happy start of spring! Fantasy author Katherine Wibell has organized a freebie giveaway on Prolific Works (the website formerly known as Instafreebie). She has pulled together a collection of stories and sample chapters that speak of worlds not quite like ours. Some of the covers may not be “safe for work,” but there is a wide variety of worlds and stories represented here.
My contribution is a sample chapter from Slaying a Tyrant, the first book in the Ancestors of Jaiya series: G-rated cover, PG-rated content. Feel free to check it out, if you don’t already have a copy.
I stumbled across a discussion elsewhere about being attacked by plot bunnies: new story ideas that are unconnected (or only tenuously connected) to what you are currently working on. If you pause the current project and try to start this new one, the new one will usually peter out quickly, leaving you with two unfinished projects instead of just one.
I used to do this a lot, myself. I think it was either in 2014 or 2015 when I was bound and determined to do CampNaNoWriMo in the spring. I ended up starting three different versions of “and then the princess walks into the space cantina and tries to hire the psychic smuggler who will later end up being her love interest.” I stalled out on all of them, in between coming up with some very weird outlines for related ideas. I’m not having a lot of trouble with “plot bunnies” right now, and I’d like to take stock of why that is, so that I can refer back to this post if they ever come back. To my mind, the main factors are these: