Author’s Log: Wading Through The Slog (#ROW80, #amwriting)

Weekly Stats (Sun-Sat):

Words Drafted: 11,388
Best Word Count: 2,102 (Wednesday)
Daily Average Needed To Meet Goal: 1,666

It was kind of a rough week, y’all. I was tired and achy, and not feeling very writer-like AT ALL. So no epic word counts this time around. But. BUT. I’m proud of myself, because I still managed to muscle through the slog and still hit my daily average needed to hit my goal every day except for Friday. I felt rather like Atreyu in Neverending Story pushing his way through the Swamp of Despair. At some point it’s best, I’ve found, just to resign yourself to the mire and slog on as best you can.

Yeah, it's kinda like that.
Yeah, it’s kinda like that.

Hopefully, I’ll be back up to par this week.

I did watch a couple of talks with both Stephen King and Neil Gaiman this week on You Tube. I’ve been resisting getting King’s On Writing for a while now, mainly because my mom, who’s been writing for decades, called “Shenanigans!” upon it, as only the Irish can.

Mr. King was an engaging speaker, true enough, with some really great stories, but it worried me immensely that he was in a room full of burgeoning, college-age writers and I don’t think his emphasis on craft was what it should have been. I’m really afraid that people are going to take what they want to hear, without taking into consideration that King’s been doing this whole writing thing since the seventies.

He made it sound like he just sits down and writes and lets the story take him where it will based on the characters, which is certainly true. What he did NOT say was, “Hey, kids—I’ve been doing this 30+ years and know how to build a story with all its working parts intact.” He didn’t say “Your journey is not my journey, so your process will be different.” He made it sound like his way was the Only, True Way, and anyone who says different is an idiot.

Oh, gods.

Ironically, Neil Gaiman’s methods aren’t so different from King’s, but he is infinitely more careful about sending young writers off willy-nilly thinking there’s nothing to writing but waiting for inspiration to strike and then sitting down to let the inherent genius flow.

This is clearly a whole other blog post, so I’ll save the bulk of my concerns for my next IWSG post, where it probably belongs.

In Other News:

The entire Waking Muse triology will be FREE on Amazon for several days over Valentine’s Day! YAY!!

Amazon has also added targeted advertising opportunities, so I’m experimenting with THE LADY TENNANT (Waking Muse #1) over the next few weeks, to see if I can’t get a little visibility.

What I’m Reading:

This week I read Garrett Robinson’s truly wonderful Nightshade. I’ll sit down and peck out a review when I have a mo’, but suffice it to say it was a wonderful fantasy novel that harkened me back to the days of yore, when I was reading more fantasy than I was writing. It also reminded of why I fell in love with fantasy in the first place.

Needless to say, the sequel Mystic is also on my nightstand, ready to go.

I’ve downloaded a few Steampunk books to my Nook, since I’m FINALLY writing my Blood & Steam trilogy this year. (Book 1 drafting now! Eep!!)

What I’m Watching:

I love a good documentary series, since I can listen with half an ear while I’m working. This week I’ve been working my through the A&E Series Gangsters, in hopes of getting ideas for future villains.

Also, I’ve started (ahem) re-watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, but only AFTER my drafting for the day is done, as a reward. This show fills me with so much Happy it’s a wonder I haven’t yet exploded into a cloud of confetti.


1. DRAFT 30K/Month:


I’m well into the beginning chapters of both Blood & Steam 1 and Keepers: Origins 3 now. I hit upon the idea of drafting each Origins novellette in the same Scrivener file as its corresponding Keepers file. This way I have one research file for both–so I can (wonder of wonders) write each Origin story BEFORE the Keepers novella it’s paired with. (Yes, I’ve been going it the other way ’round. Keepers 3 is coming out from Samhain in March, and I’m just now drafting Tara’s origin story.) This week I had experienced a muzzy, slightly hallucinatory moment of WTF? wherein I realized I was putting the cart before the horse, with the expected resultant mess.

Blood & Steam #1’s style is coming out a bit more light-hearted than I expected, but I’m having fun, which I suppose is the important thing. During my lunch hour at work one day I wrote a scene wherein my shero, eldest Carlisle daughter Acacia, recalls the time her youngest sister invented a pair of dancing slippers with clockwork adjustable heels built in. During the party one of the heels collapsed beneath our intrepid shero, sending her and her dancing partner tumbling into the crowd. The Domino Effect ensued, climaxing in the upending of a buffet table and its punch bowl.

I don’t know if this will stay in. I DO know, however, my co-workers probably think I’m a bit mad, as I snorted and snickered my way through the scene. Sometimes I crack myself up. Other people…not so much.

2. Plan Power of Three #1:


I looooooove my hero and shero in this one. I’ve got a stupendous beginning, a magnificent ending, and now I’m working out the details of the Dread Middle. Rarely do I have a book in the planning stages where I’m looking forward to writing SO MANY SCENES. Squee!

I am, however, having trouble deciding where the story will take place. I’m pretty sure New York, since I have a wonderful scene planned for Central Park at night. But I need to figure out where my shero and her sisters live, and where their bar is located. I’m thinking further upriver, on the Hudson, but I haven’t decided yet.

3. Complete and Release Waking Muse Box Set:


Almost done. I’m hoping to finish up cover art this weekend, and format a decent ePub to upload, since Amazon now accepts ePub. I’m trying to decide at this point if a .pdf wouldn’t be better. *debates*

Your turn, guys. What sorts of Shenanigans did you get up to during the week?


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