Writing is living

I found this to be a beautiful way of looking at how to look at joy and creation.

Loridian's Laboratory

Writing is Living

It’s been two years now since I released the last book in my sci-fi series The Chronicles of the Great Migration. And though I am coming close to finishing the book now… today, I had a conversation with a stranger that, despite the fact it had nothing to do with what I am working on in the novel, it inspired me to consider one of my characters in a new light.

Because… Writing is living.

We live in a world where indie authors tout rapid release. We are pushed to write quickly and publish quickly. Produce. Produce. Produce. Produce. Produce. Produce. Produce.

For those of you who don’t know there are even algorithms in place that, if we don’t publish quickly, our work stops being as visible on places like Amazon. We writers find ourselves on the factory floor, the assembly line in this algorithmic revolution.

But……

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Moving Right Along

Sorry for the long bout of silence there.  Working through my new work schedule is definitely taxing the creative juices.  Never mind all the other life stuff going on and, you know, potential nuclear war.  How many shoes are there left to drop, eh?

Anyway, I think I’m finally getting used to having my daily schedule fully reversed.  My mom is doing well, so that’s a relief.  Lots of important conversations happened during that visit.  It was great to hang out with my sister as well.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve gotten to do that.

I know, I know, this isn’t what you want me to talk about and I get it.  But all of that is mentally and creatively taxing.  And that’s taken a bite out of my enjoyment on the project.  But I am still moving forward on it!  And it will be done if it’s the last thing I do.  Well, that’s a bit morbid…  Either way, it will be done this year.  It’s only March, right?

The end of the first draft is steadily getting closer and the only other thing on my list is a bunch of obstacle course races.  And I mean a bunch!  Why did I take up this activity when my knees are garbage? 

You know what they say, “You’re never too old to pursue your dreams.”

And I wholeheartedly believe that.  I’ve come to learn that some of my dreams aren’t exactly in my skillset but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. Here’s a tiny fun fact; when I was a kid, I wanted to be a sword wielding, storytelling musician. I wanted to be an actor, a film maker, a painter and travel the world. You know, cause kids have weird sensibilities or whatever.

And I’m still on that path!  It amuses to me to no end to realize that all I ever wanted to be a was a bard.  Who knew?

What path are you on to pursue your dreams?

The Next Adventure?

How is 2022 treating you all?

It’s been a whirlwind for me, so far. I’ve started in a new position at my ole nine to fiver and it is taxing the floppy pile of gray matter held in place by my skull.  It’s a bit more difficult than I had initially imagined, but also, it’s good to tax the brain.  Or so they tell me.

Fun stuff like my bank decided to change and the new bank doesn’t work for a small operation like myself.  So, I’ve been looking for a replacement and changing more settings than I thought possible. Never mind all the changes to advertising I’m having to learn on the fly.  With all that and my other responsibilities continue marching on.  The shoveling of snow has eaten away at the smaller and smaller windows of free time available to me.

That and my mom just got out of surgery for cancer and… yeah.  Plenty of thoughts occupies the doorway to my thoughts.

None of these things has helped me get any writing done lately.  I stare at that blinking cursor and all I want to do is not stare into a screen. The words don’t want to come out… well except when I’m trying to sleep, shower, or anything else that isn’t me on the computer at the time.

But there is a bit of respite coming my way, sort of.  I’ll be helping my mom out as she recovers, and I plan to sit down and write when I’m not doing that.  I’m glad my new job made it possible for me to take the time off suddenly.  That alone was a huge relief.

On the plus side, I have a few fun things planned for the future of the Matilda series that are away and running!  I can’t wait to show you!  So much fun! Fun! Fun!

Anyways, how’s 2022 treating you all? Drop a comment and say hi or what character is your favorite. Or what place in the Matilda Universe out there sticks out for you.

And I haven’t forgotten about the Nun with a Gun!  Once the Waltzing Matilda is out for editing, she’ll be back for a rousing adventure too!

Convention Adventures 2022!

Boom. First month of the year and first Con down. 

First off, hats off to the runners of COSine Con 2022 for getting it to happen.  With the location of the Con getting sold, the main headliners unable to attend due to Covid and a snowstorm blowing in, the Con still happened!

With all of that going on, it was a quiet affair. There were so many writers there, it was amazing.  I got to sit in on a few panels as well as attend some others and I got my learn on!  So many notes, I’m talking pages of them.

I was on panels and attended others with a lot of great people, Adam Gaffen, R. Gary Raham, David Boop, Jonathan Brazee, Kevin Ikenberry, Jim Henderson, Stephanie Gillis to name just a few! I mean, the list just goes on and on.

The audiobook panel was primo for me as that is the next big step. (well… after I finish the 1st draft of Waltzing Matilda). It was incredibly informative and gave me a lot to chew on in preparation for the whole process.

Like what, you ask? Sound effects yay or nay? (big ole nay) What do the characters actually sound like? To me? Should I voice it myself or hire someone? Would a male voice sound weird for a female character and vice versa? What sort of business options are there for hiring a voice actor? There is more… I have copious notes.

So, woo to the next grand adventure!  You know, when I’ve got Waltzing Matilda in one piece.

COSine Con 2022!

I will be at COSine Con 2022!

What better way to start the new year than with a convention! I am pretty pumped to be part of COSine Con with one of my favorite authors as the Guest of Honor, C.J. Cherryh!

I hope I have some time to catch one of her panels in between the panels I’m on and my table time. I am busy prepping myself for the event and I’m a bit nervous.  I’ll be moderating a panel first thing on Saturday morning and that’s a new activity for me. 2022 is off to a bang and it’s only January!

The convention will be happening in Colorado Springs, CO from January 14th to the 16th.  I’ll be in the Dealer’s room the rest of the time, so swing on out and say hello!

2021 In Review

What a strange and intriguing year it has been.  

It still blows my mind that there was a staged insurrection at the beginning of this year.  On top of that, the US military released footage of UFOs.  Never mind that New Zealand released its wizard from payroll and some scientists made a monkey/human hybrid embryo.  Self-replicating xenobots exist now too!  And to finish the year off is the introduction of a brand-new variant of Covid-19 that sounds like it was named after a Decepticon.

On the good side, Britney Spears was freed from her conservatorship.  And the latest androids are amazing!  I’m sure there were other things, but it gets terribly distracting reading all the news… it makes you want to answer the call when the other side of the mirror beckons.

But all in all, 2021 has been very good for me.  Not only was I able to go and check on my family, but I also got to see the ocean on both sides of this giant block of land.  And how I have missed the ocean(s) as I look out at the majestic mountains so nearby…

Anyway, this year stands out for me.  I got another book out and I’m so close to finishing the first draft of the last book in the series.  I won some awards for my writing (so awesome!) and I finally got to attend some conventions as an author.  On that note, I’ll be at Cosine Con in January 2022.

2022 is right around the bend and I have plans for you “next year”.  Oh yes, I have plans!

I hope everyone has a great Holiday season and a Happy New Year and I’ll see you next year!

Last Day of NaNoWriMo!

As the clock runs down and the finish line appears in the distance, I wonder… “Will I make it?” 

The short answer is “No.”  Am I sad about it?  Another, “No.” 

“Well, why not?” you ask.  

 (Can you tell I’ve been writing dialogue today?)

This has been a busy month and even though I won’t be completing my word count, I accomplished a ton.  I started a new job, ran a 13.5-mile race, celebrated a holiday, a birthday, and made progress on my latest draft!

Of course, it’s not as much progress as I was hoping for, but progress is progress.  I am still plowing through the connective tissue for the remaining two big scenes… err three big scenes.  Those I will fly through.  Then it’s taking this hot mess of a storyline and lovingly craft it into something worth reading. So, the future is looking pretty good!

Now I have to get back to this bit in the story where Barney does the thing and Jacquie doesn’t like it and…

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

First Week Into the Nano!

How are things going, you ask?  Well… they’re going, but not as fast as I would like.  It’s strange how the brain reconfigures depending on what it’s needed for, isn’t it?  I pushed to get into the ‘Con Consciousness’, then the ‘Music Mind’ (more on that later), and now I’m pushing to get into the ‘Writer’s Brain’.

Each one (for me anyway), is different enough that it’s jarring to the system.  It can take days for me to connect properly.  Which finally happened this weekend!  I made some decent headway into the story!

It felt like I was at the base of a mountain but knowing that I was close to halfway up.  Clouds obscured the path behind me, and fog dogged my every step up.  Hooray for valleys of clarity!  I could see the path for a while and progress was good.

Did I mention that I have kittens?  They just hit 7 weeks old and have decided that we are people and not just warm furniture.  The little buggers are so adorable and I can watch them do kitten things for hours.  I beheld the power of the ‘Kitten Wit’!

This turned out to be a bit rambly.  That’s enough of that.  For those struggling their way through Nano, I salute you and cheer you on from afar!

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

It’s Almost Nano Time!

NaNoWriMo home.

Crazy, right?  I almost can’t believe it.

This year has been an odd one, incredibly busy with periods of nothing.  And right now, I’m in a massively busy cycle.  Not only did I finally get to attend Cons as an author, but I’ve been to a few music shows, actually watched some movies in a movie theater, and competed in a few obstacle course races!  The last one was a 13+ mile run just last weekend with a 5k this weekend, and I have another 13+ mile race coming up in mid-November!

With all that going on, I’m also looking into getting audio versions of my books made and working on another project with an author friend too!  Which brings up Nanowrimo.  With all of that going on, (never mind the ole 9-5) will I get anything done?  Well, that’s the quest for the month! 

I’ve given myself a more achievable goal for this Nano and that’s to finish the first draft of the final book in the Matilda series.  And by finish, I mean write the first version of the part that is missing, not the rewrite of the end that is needed (if I have the time, I’ll hop into that too but that’s more a December gig).  It should only be about 20,000-30,000 words so huzzah and all that nautical talk!

In the meantime, I’m taking a wee break…  Well, apparently I’m not. Just realized November is on Monday.  Did I mention that I was immensely busy already?

Convention Adventures!

Sometimes I ask myself…  Side quest much?

Yes!  Whew!  Two Cons in the bag and they were back-to-back.  Am I tired?  You better believe I am.  Was it worth it?  Every minute of it. 

First off, I must give huge props out to WhimsyCon 2021 and Mile Hi Con 2021 for making a newcomer feel welcome.  An enormous thank you to the staff and the volunteers to both Cons for a fun time!  Two Cons with completely different focuses for me.  

WhimsyCon was my first Con being on Author Panels and it was exciting, nerve wracking and a huge learning experience.  I was very particular about the panels I chose to be on and luckily, I was put on panels with seasoned pros like Vennessa Robertson, Michael Kilman, Mike Cervantes, Lyndsie Clark and Stace Johnson and others!

Considering how nervous I was up to the point that the panel, each panel started, I think I did pretty well!  I had a couple minor hiccups on the “About Me” portion of one, but smooth sailing on the rest!  I’m not sure if this works for other people but focusing directly on the questions and the person asking while using my ‘outside’ voice definitely worked for me.

Mile Hi Con was my first time running an Author Table.  I was all set for this back in 2020, but the world exploded and um… yeah, everything was delayed a bit.  Set up was quick and easy.  I thought I’d be nervous the whole time, but I wasn’t! 

I got to talk to a lot of potential readers about my story, my characters and what drove me to write.  I also got to speak with other authors (Jason Henry Evans, Lou J. Berger, Jim Henderson, and J.D. Jorissen, to name a few!) about the craft, swapped lessons we’d learned about the Con process and where we might come across each other again. 

Oh, by the way, I had an amazing table mate, Alison Kimble, author of Strange Gods (you should check it out).  She killed it at the Con panels and I can’t wait to read her book!

And now time to breathe…