Archive | November, 2020

Mini Win – And Why does this take so long?

23 Nov

So I officially put the “THE END” at the End of Chimera today. I started it for NANO 2018, and I got to the final act and hit a wall. Not just any wall – shoot, I’m a Plantser – combination plotter and pantser – so wrote the ending, which I’ve had to change a little, but it gave me an idea where I wanted to go.

Basically I had an idea for how they would get to that point, but it didn’t seem smart enough for me. I’m not saying every ending needs to be smart, but what I had was unsatisfying, especially considering the lead up. I didn’t like the climax, and the problem, ultimately, was that I needed to develop the technology of not one but two forces that oppose our heroes. They oppose each other, and I highly expected them to go against each other and allowed our underdog heroes to skirt around them. It didn’t go as planned, but I’m somewhat satisfied at how it played out. More revision is needed, of course, but at 85k I’m sitting at a nice length and I can shorten and lengthen as needed.

The premise of Chimera, is that humanity learned to punch portals in not quite deep space and have been terraforming several suitable planets for a few hundred years, however it’s unknown to the general population. The problem is that there’s factors in these planets that make them not quite great for the general public outside of their biospheres, so it’s easier to start modifying the human genome to make subspecies to inhabit these potential planets. Everyone’s pretty much a cyborg by this time (very minor implants, think of it as having your cell phone implanted and you’re constantly connected to a variety of what they call ‘underwebs’ or grids if you are military) but there’s still many human modifications that are very illegal, as they tend to be invitro or so invasive the general population abhors them. Since several planets have been terraformed, the powers that be can modify the people they send there without real consequence.

My main character, Cheyenne, is sent out for some what she assumes is routine maintenance and she’s there in case the autopilot malfunctions and she needs to take manual control when their civilian-class transport is starting to malfunction. They’re pulled into this other part of the galaxy, and because she’s outside the main transport, she and a handful of other pilots and engineers are able to limp to the nearest life-permitting planet, and the powers that be don’t really care about them anyway. The planet is terraformed and they’ll be okay, but once their shuttles hit the planet they’ll be unable to breach the atmosphere and, they know even if they manage to make it to the portal back to our atmosphere, they’re too far from Earth to limp home with the life support. They know they’ll either be found out and willing to be saved or caught by the local wildlife/free range humanoids and dealt with.

I had to do a lot of research and think about how I wanted to approach it. Right now, the plan is to write book 2 and make it a duology, but I’ll be really honest I’ll probably focus on the NANOWRIMO other projects and get around to this one after I knock Titan’s Ascent down to size.

I know I tend to say each project takes about a year, but here’s the conundrum: Some projects take far less, other projects take much more. I’ve abandoned projects before, I’ve left projects and come back to them. I’m about to revisit and revise a project which, I thought I was just about ready to self-publish at the time (unedited, that would have been fixed) but I was just starting into my paramedicine and that, so I figured I should learn about real trauma, real injury and I’m glad I waited. It sucks because I think with any project, you can look back and go, “Hey, this could be better. I’m a better writer now than I was.” And it’s true, but that being said I think a big part of being an artist is knowing when the project is fit for the public. Knowing that yeah, you might have done better, and there’s no excuse for rushing out a poor project. But, you also need to get over yourself, and think about the next one, and how you’ll improve on your next title.

But in general, I’m feeling pleased with the project and I got more ideas floating around for it’s sequel than Rogue Healer 4, but that being said I haven’t really been focusing on it as much, so I haven’t hit flow yet. The shorts are coming along fine, and the way my tours are split up I’ll have a few days at the end of the month to catch up. I’m hoping to finish early so I can revise Titan’s Ascent, then go revise an older project.

Oh, and I self-pubbed a short story, “Straw Man” on Kobo exclusively for now. I’ll probably put it on Smashwords and other places in the coming weeks. I’m still learning, and my plan is to work on a full size Ebook. I made a few practice, smaller ebooks with ‘chapters’ (Stories with pictures) so I feel confident enough to get it done. I’ll post when it’s all available.


Not Quite at Year Round Up

14 Nov

We still got about six weeks left.

I’m pretty sure most of us weren’t anticipating the 2020 we had. I hope you and yours are safe.

My province went from doing very well to right now, having some of the worst if not the worst per capita new cases in the past month and a half. There’s not much we can do right now, other than take personal responsibility and care for each other. I know it’s hard, and we can’t control other people. I kind of learned with my job is it’s my job to try and help people to the best of my ability. I’m lucky, as I haven’t been affected financially and I feel trained for this and, I think I have always known there’s only so much I can do.

We’re going to get through this. Whether the concern is physical health, mental health, financial strain, or even loneliness; we’re going to get through this.

Writing Thus far:

Dreams of Mariposa came out earlier this year. The book tour went out the week after lockdown, so that was… different. It’s been weird, because many events have taken their show online, but R.J. Hore and Larry Flewin and I typically go to a few shows. Right now, all we did was the Shelmerdine Farmer’s market because it was outside and the numbers were really good in the summer. I don’t have any hard copies of DoM, and I’m not going to ask my publisher for any until she’s ready.  Honestly, I fell behind on the marketing so I should probably get back to promoting DoM.

Witchslayer’s Scion is not out. We’re really close, and like with Tower of Obsidian, I don’t mind waiting and doing it right. I had to resubmit the second book in the proposed series, and I technically finished the rough draft of Book 3 in August (Tentative Titles Magus’ Gambit and Titan’s Ascent respectively). Unfortunately, it was sitting at +160K, which isn’t the longest I’ve written but that’s a little long for the publisher. I suffer from too many ideas and not expanding them, so I’m in revision. Doesn’t bother me, I said series not trilogy but I have the feeling another plot I really liked it getting chopped. Honestly, this could be the shortest book in the series if I just focus on one plot, but remains to be seen. I chatted with the publisher about a few other projects I’ve written. I’ve been writing books and stories since before High School – not well but not the point – and I made a list as to what needs to be revised/rewritten and, hey if I’m going to be at home, I’m going to get to work on some of these projects. My plan is to work on more manuscript related to NANOWRIMO (see below) and edit TA bit by bit once I catch up. I’m behind, but seriously writing 5k in a day isn’t a problem so long as I’m caught up on sleep. We have been too busy at work for me to work on it then, so I will have to do it on my days off.

Ebooks: I learned! Still not great, and my problem was honestly I needed to practice with some novellas before going for the full meal deal. I’m a firm believer in hiring people, but you get burned a few times and you just want to do things yourself. I figure I should be able to at least make a basic ebook without junk code. I’ll post some links soon.

NaNoWriMo: I’m cheating again this year. I still haven’t finished Chimera, and I’m technically working on some novellas, other projects and Rogue Healer 4. My plan is now that I’ve gotten another major task out of the way, get away from the newer projects, and finish Chimera. Let it percolate. The other projects can take their time, as I’m going to be working more on revising other projects I think in December/January as opposed to finishing a fourth book in a proposed series. If they sign Book 2 and ask for Book 3, then I light a fire under the kiester.


So I already read 52 books this year. Some years I don’t make the goal, and other years I blow it out of the water. It depends on the book length, not the amount of books, but audio books has made it easier for me. My partner and I were carpooling, but she’s going to be off for the next year so I’m driving by myself.  Sounds like my new partner is renting a place in town, so he won’t need to carpool at all.

Normally I prioritize reading local and small authors, and I still do, but I have been in a bookstore twice since March and both times weren’t for me. I’ve been using Manitoba Elibraries and decided to work on finishing up series I started. I don’t mind waiting for the next book in a series, but it is nice to look at my ‘To-Read’ Pile on Goodreads and at least change the ones near the top of the list. I typically end up adding just as many as I finish, so the number remains about the same.

I like doing themes in years, and I’m torn between making next year all about Trilogies or reading Wheel of Time (12 books, 12 months) but I can’t decide. I tried to read WoT when I finished reading all of Discworld and they were a little heavier than what I needed at the time. Ironically, a year later I got introduced to the Malazan books, and then Game of Thrones. I’m not planning on going back to school any time soon; I like the idea of seeing how a series is plotted, but going through trilogies has a certain appeal to me as well. I know, “Why not BOTH?” short answer is I’d almost rather go through the trilogies series by series. Reading a specific length helps me write a specific length. Believe me: I loaned my niece Card’s Ender’s Game and she obliterated it in three and a half hours yesterday (I gave her the book and the movie)  and I know what it’s like to finish off someone’s year’s long work in an afternoon but, I’m leaning towards some three-act structures. That isn’t to say I could do a bunch of trilogies and change gear mid way and read an entire series in order as opposed to a book a month; I ordered the last three books in West’s House War series but I’m not tempted to do a complete reread yet.

Like I said above: I have about a month and a half to figure out what I want to do for 2021 and I do feel like I’ve made decent progress with the writing, even if I’m not as far as I’d like to be. I don’t think it’s been an easy 2020 for most people. Be patient and kind and love each other.