Last Day of 2019. Time to Reflect?

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There’s a little bit of snow on the ground and the weather is rather pleasant today, so why not?  2019 has been an odd year; in some ways successful and in others, depressing.  Let’s get the downside out of the way, shall we?

Cancer was a complete bastard in 2019.  It has worked hard and taken friends of mine.  I am having trouble even contemplating what its effect has been on those left behind.  Outside of cancer, Death has pulled others I care about into its grasp.  I’m at that age, I guess.

Lastly, I had a panic attack earlier this year.  Not something I’ve had to deal with in a decade.  The cause of it, unknown.  The effect, a heavier depressive cycle for starters as well as other problems I thought I had finally surmounted.  Aah, the joys of the brain and body.

How about some good stuff, eh?

I achieved a goal in my sword art pursuits that I had been striving for, for years.  In fact, I had all but given up on ever achieving it.  Do I feel that I deserve what it stands for?  I am still unsure.

I completed my oft dreamed about trip to Macchu Picchu.  Ever since my grandparents had talked about it, I had dreamed that I would get to see the wonders.  And wonders they are, my friends.  Wonders they are.

I finally got the second Matilda book, Twistin’ Matilda, published.  There is so much rejoicing about this, Sir Robin would be proud.  Even better, progress on the book three rewrites is moving right along and I hope to have it off to the editors by spring.  On top of that, I made massive headway on book four in the Matilda series that it accomplished NaNoWriMo.  That first draft is still not done but the end is in sight.

Even with the setbacks caused by depression this year, I persevered and continued moving forward.

Like Time itself.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Another NaNoWriMo Done!

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Whew.  It’s over.

Well, the month of November is.  And I made it!  I hit 53,169 words as of 11:55PM on November 30th.  On top of that, I wrote thirty poems over the month as well.  It was a massive writing extravaganza!

Even better, the fourth book is now at 67,454 words!  But it’s still not done.  I only have a couple more storylines/locations to go.  The completion of that first draft is still elusive but I am so close.  I can literally taste it.

What was my take away from all this?  Umm, I appreciate poetry a hell of a lot more than I used to.  That is one hard writing form with more styles than I was aware of.  I had a lot of fun taking a crack at a bunch of these styles and I feel that I was relatively successful.  I may continue to write more poetry in the future.  It’s an interesting experience to paint a scene, an emotion, a single moment in time and even a good old nursery rhyme.

So, what’s my focus for December?  Get that first draft knocked out.  Get back to editing book three and have it ready for beta readers by early next year.  And finally, make some progress with my writing partner on our collaboration effort.

Hmm… I guess it’s not really over.

Image by Bruno Glätsch from Pixabay

Research: The Art of Getting on a Government List Somewhere

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Oy to the vey.

You know when you hit that flow and you can barely keep up with the words as they tumble out of your brain?  Then suddenly (dun, dun, dun) it all comes crashing down?

Because… You don’t know… How… Something works…  (in your best Shatner)

Like, what are the relativistic rotation speeds of a comet and its gravitation?  When was the heyday of the Mongolian Empire?  How does a worm process food out of dirt?  How do you do sleight of hand tricks?  What are the important arteries in the human body for the murdering?  How do cults and terrorist organizations get new followers?  What secret societies still exist and what is their secret?  Is Bigfoot real?

You know what I’m talking about.  I mean, I put it in the title.  The random, odd and weird factoids, science, conjecture and theories you never knew you needed to know… until you do.  The annoying part is, you can’t really move forward in the story until you do have an understanding of whatever you need at that moment.  Hence the oy to the vey.  When I get that flow, the last thing I want is to slam into a brick wall of missing information.

One of the more fun things about research is really the just strangeness of what you need at that moment.  The bad part is when you get stuck in research mode.  You’ll find yourself knee-deep in conspiracy theories as to why Charlemagne was obviously an alien and time traveled with Sigmund Freud for ice cream (I don’t think that’s real).  But, how can someone not show up on a list with the really weird Search lists a writer generates?  And we’re lucky!

To be honest, I don’t know how people did it before the internet.  I think I still know the Dewey Decimal System.  Anyway, having access to all the wondrous and ridiculous human musings at your fingertips is pretty amazing.

Though of late, ridiculous seems to be winning.  I mean Charlemagne couldn’t be that into ice cream.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Writing Practice for Fun… I Think…

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Not sure if you’ve noticed, but poetry isn’t exactly my forte.  It’s a writing form that I throw my hand into every now and then.  Some attempts have been successful enough (to me) while others I want to hide under a stack of papers and hope they disappear forever.

I’ve been re-involving myself in the process of writing on paper (gasp) for ten minutes first thing in the day to get the creativity flowing.  All in the pursuit of ‘a writing practice’ while I push through on book four of the Matilda series. For some reason, I decided that poetry would be my short-form practice during the month of November.

While in the midst of NanoWriMo, a short-form story type would do the trick.  What better way to get the ole noggin juices flowing and not get locked into / excited about / a different storyline, right?  And why not choose a format that I wanted to work on anyway?  Sounds all great and logical, doesn’t it?

So I thought, too.  I have enjoyed writing in the various poem formats and had forgotten there were so many.  But I have a confession to make.  Poetry is hard for me, especially first thing in the morning.  Before breakfast.  Before that first cup of coffee.  Eesh! It has an extra level to it that my brain doesn’t want to figure out right off the bat.  Oh yeah, structure.

You see with a story, the first draft can sometimes be a heaping pile of word vomit, but you can dig out the shiny candy-like marble of goodness and build on that.  Poetry, on the other hand, feels (to me) like the first draft is all in your head and you have to edit from thought before it hits the paper.

I find that exceedingly difficult to do!  Makes me wonder if I bit off more than I can chew.  I mean, I did choose to work on poetry because it isn’t easy for me.  And to be honest, it has become more problematic.  Yesterday alone was a fight to the bitter end.  And today?  Well, today was quick and autobiographical.  Made me a wee bit sad, too.

Anyway, I will continue to struggle my way through my self-given task and hope for the best.  Who knows, maybe I’m just doing it wrong.  Or I haven’t found what works for me.

Or maybe, just maybe, I should wait until after that first cup of coffee.  Yeah, maybe that.

Image by Alberto Adán from Pixabay

the Matilda on Sale!

With the release of Twistin’ Matilda, the price has been dropped on the Matilda for a limited time!

The crew of the space freighter, Matilda, ply their trade on the fringes of known space under the ever-present boot of the Consortium.  Unfortunately, those fringes are controlled by criminal elements.  Trapped between these two forces, the Captain works her way toward another payday, sometimes legally, other times not so much.

After breaking one of their own out of prison, someone is chasing them.  But who are they really after and why?  What could one of the crew know that could be potentially dangerous for the powers that be?

It’s moments like this when it’s good to have an ace up your sleeve.  Even if that ace can bypass the entire wormhole gate system by going where no one should and no one would want to go.

Join Jacquotte Delahaye and her crew of misfits in the first and second seasons of the series, The Matilda.

Twistin’ Matilda Release Day

Today is release day!  Twistin’ Matilda is available at Amazon in both Kindle and Print!

3D Twistin MatildaThe crew of the Matilda continues their struggle for survival in an uncaring universe.  Captain Jacquotte Delahaye remains trapped between Consortium government teams that operate on the edge of legality and criminal elements that have a plan for her crew even if she doesn’t want to be part of it.

The Matilda was almost apprehended but they got away.  But not under their own power or by choice. Now trapped in the ‘other space’, is the ship lost forever or will they find their way out? But the question remains, who is after them and why? And what have they brought on board? As the net grows tighter, old secrets come to the fore and new dangers await them.

Come join Jacquotte Delahaye and her crew of misfits in the second book of the series, Twistin’ Matilda.

Now, I have to get back to writing.  The journey will continue in the follow-up sequel, Black Matilda!