Monday, March 21, 2016

April A to Z Theme Reveal

First of all, welcome to blog post #500! *cue the confetti*

It's almost April again, and you know what that means...The annual A to Z blogging challenge! I'm excited to be back for my fourth year. 

I had so much fun last year with short story starts based on your letter of the day word suggestions, that I'm doing it again. Yes, that means each day I'll be looking for suggestions using the letter of the day and will then post the start of a short story, or if time and inspiration allows, the entire story the next day. So start thinking of names, situations, and interesting words to throw at me and I'll try to use as many of them as possible.

Last April I was awating edits on A Broken Race, which has since been published. This April, I'm awaiting the day I can announce that Brewed Awakenings II, an anthology featuring two of my short stories, will be released. There may also be a big announcement on my next novel at some point in the month. Lots to watch for!

What's going on until April? I'm finishing up the rough draft of Bound in Blue. Only a few thousand more words to go. I'd love to squeeze in a quick read through and get some editing notes down before April hits. Which means I should be writing right now. Oops.

This lovely interview with the 3288 Review happened.

And on Authors Answer, we discussed writing targets.

My fish tank is down to only guppies, and hey, I have chickens! They're roughly a nine days old here.

What are other people doing for the April Blogging A to Z Challenge? Drop by the giant list of participants to see what fun we're all in for.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I'm Watching

Last week wasn't great on several levels. With my attention in too many directions and brain dealing with a couple different craptastic situations - mostly work related - I didn't get a whole lot of writing done. Nor did I get any reading in, though I did try to start one book, my head just wasn't up for it. And sleep, not so much either.

Clearly I needed to step back and recharge and that usually calls for some vegetating in front of the tv. Sleep has yet to settle back into a restful event, but I did enjoy not falling asleep to:

Ascension: An odd little scif-fi miniseries about a space ship launched in the 60's heading off on a three generation mission to a new world to colonize. If you enjoyed Tricia Helfer in BSG, she has a similar, though non-imaginary (those were some of my favorite scenes), role here. And the ending was an enjoyable "ah-ha, I see where you were actually going with that" moment. Too bad it never made it to a full series.

The Man in the High Castle: Now eagerly awaiting season 2, this series takes place also in the 60's. It wasn't my choice of themes for this binge viewing period, really. It just happened that way. In an alternate history where the Nazi's didn't lose the war and the US is divided between the Japanese and Germany. Hitler is still alive and is seemingly obsessed with even more alternate history that shows up on mysterious films. Confused as to what is real? Yeah, most of the characters are too. I have not read the book so I'm with them and will have to wait to see where this is going next season.

Dollhouse: In our quest for the next thing to watch, we gave an episode a try. My husband gave this a meh vote. I almost did to. The first episode had a Quantum Leap vibe, where the same actor is going to play a new character every week. I expected more from Joss Whedon, and as much as I enjoy Angel and Buffy snark entertainment, that wasn't what I was looking for. However, I gave the series a couple more episodes on my own to rope me in because: actors. Want to get a dose of actors from BSG, Firefly, and Buffy? Many of them turn up throughout the two seasons of this generally well written show.

After two chaotic weekends (which likely also played into my burned out feeling), I gave myself two days of utter downtime and camped out in my comfy chair, earbuds in, watching two entire seasons in two days. Get your own food, people. I'm on vacation right here. And really, what better show to take a mental vacation with, than a show about people taking a (albeit mostly non-voluntary) vacation from themselves? Okay, so my downtime turned out a lot better than theirs did, but still.

The part I appreciated most about this series was that the first season could have ended without coming back. We got a glimpse into where the show was going. I loved that. So many (specifically sci-fi) shows just drop off the air and you never know where they were headed. Here, I would have been satisfied. I'm glad there was a second season, which also had a terrific ending, but I did truly appreciate that season one finale. More shows should do this rather than leaving disgruntled sci-fi fans in their wake. I'd start a list, but there are so many that annoyed me when they got cancelled with no resolution that I'd just get angry all over again.

And now I suppose I should get back to writing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March IWSG

I'm feeling a little more on top of my posting this month. Slightly more, anyway. As of Tuesday morning had no idea what I was going to post about because writing life is pretty good right now. I've been barreling forward on Bound in Blue: Book 3 of The Narvan at around 1K a day. I like the direction its going and the words are flowing freely.

I have a couple of upcoming author events to attend, where I can promote A Broken Race. Interviews have been kept up on, except for reviewing my answers to Ms. Marketing's questions from our last meeting. Yeah,  I've got to get on that.

But now, Tuesday evening, I've just received the initial editing overview notes from a prospective publisher of Trust: Book 1 of The Narvan. I'm holding off on any big announcements on that front until I digest these and decide if I want to proceed with a contract should all parties agree to move forward.

I've played the get the contract before the initial notes game before and it wasn't pretty. Lifopoly anyone? I much prefer this order of events.

These notes, I think I can work with for the most part. But as I sit here, having read them over four times, I'm seriously pondering how on earth I'm going to conquer the issue of too many subplots to do them all justice. Yes, there are a lot. I know that. It's a complex story. All of them are necessary to pull the story together at the conclusion and provide the framework for the rest of the series.

The immediate solution that comes to mind would be to divide the first book in two thereby making the plot in each less complex and more leisurely to digest. I do have a rather breakneck pace set because that's the speed at which I like to read.

With the requested addition of areas needing more description and room to follow the suggestion of expounding on the existing subplots, reaching two novels worth of word count isn't an utterly stressful prospect. However, that would create the situation for a cliffhanger ending, because we'd essentially be leaving off in the middle. There is a scene that would lend itself to this purpose, but I hate detest very strongly dislike cliffhanger endings. I prefer each book to have a satisfying conclusion.

What are your feelings on cliffhangers? Does it drive you to buy the next book or annoy you to the point where you'd never buy anything by that author again?

Please check out posts by other ISWG participants here.