progress · Uncategorized

April ice storms bring May rain

That’s how that saying goes, right?

It was a good month, chugging along the old daily grind 🚂

Highlights!

  • Obviously, releasing Bootstrap()! Lookit those stars!
  • The writing competition in Winchester, which I wrote about here

I had a pretty enjoyable month on the reading front, too. This month I finished Ecclesiastes: Life in a Fallen World; The Chrysalids; Doctor’s Orders (Star Trek); and The Motion Picture Novelization (also Trek). You can probably tell I’m on a bit of a vintage sci fi bend at the moment. I always enjoy anything by Wyndham, of course (he’s so much fun to read!) but the old Trek novels, man, I used to spend hours reading them as a kid. The Ecclesiastes commentary was good, but I was looking for a little bit more meat. And by meat, I mean long in-depth discussions on Greek tenses, y’know. As one does.

Works in Progress

Kinda just chugging along on Euphi/Murah/Yuun’s story. I’ve added (drumroll please) about 13,000 words this month, which isn’t bad (considering I give it about half an hour a day, lol). It’s now at 40,000; a respectable total considering I’ve still no idea where this story is going. It’s like Cinderella? In space? With a lot of backstabbing murdering business? I dunno. I’m starting to consider that Euphi might not even end up marrying any of these poor shmucks she’s had shipped halfway across the galaxy to compete for her hand, either. Honestly, the nerve of some of these space princesses. Who do they think they are?!

No editing progress at all this month (well, unless you count Bootstrap(), which I do). Did I mention it’s available to read now? And, I might be a teensy bit biased, but it’s fantabulous. So you should read it.

Goals for May

I’m very much hoping May brings a bit more garden time, sunshine, and chances to lounge about outside with vintage sci fi. Here’s hoping! But other than that…

  1. Add another 15k on to Murah and Yuun and Euphi: A Cinderella Story
    • no I’m not really calling it that
  2. So I have this other idea for a novel…

…Yeah, pretty much that. It’s actually not new, like, I dreamt this up back in 2020 when I was really obsessed with this song, ’39. (Did you know Queen has a super amazing song about time dilation? No? You’re in for a treat!)

It’s not my usual thing at all though, it would be pretty hard sci fi (as you can maybe tell from the whole time dilation inspiration). But still character driven. Character driven hard sci fi. Huh, a girl can really reach for the stars, hey?

So maybe… maybe draft something about that?

🤔


By the by, Onedrive reminded me today that I got this piece of artwork two years ago today. Remember this beautiful thing?

personal · progress · Uncategorized

March Through Pages: My Month in Books and Writing Endeavors

March has been an enlightening month, filled with discoveries and significant progress in my reading and writing journey. As a way to share my progress & goals here are the books I read this month, followed by an update on my writing projects!

Books of the Month

I read 5 books in March, slightly behind my goal of 1.5 per week. Goal: Step it up in April! 💪

  1. The Letters of John – Gary M. Burge
    The Letters of John, written by Gary M. Burge, offers an insightful exploration of the epistles of John from the New Testament. It delves into the historical, social, and theological context of these letters, shedding light on their relevance for contemporary readers.
    I thought this book was quite an interesting insight into the early church and apostolic authority when such a church didn’t have much in the way of Scripture to fall back on. Who to trust, and how can you trust them?
  2. San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities – Michael Shellenberger
    In San Fransicko, Michael Shellenberger investigates the impact of progressive policies on urban environments, focusing primarily on San Francisco. By presenting an array of case studies, Shellenberger demonstrates how well-intentioned policies can sometimes have devastating consequences for cities and their residents.
    The title of this book was a real failure–despite being so provocative, the book was very well researched and quite empathic towards those in real need.
  3. Kindred – Octavia E. Butler
    Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred is a powerful novel that blends science fiction, historical fiction, and social commentary. The story revolves around Dana, a young African-American woman who is inexplicably transported back in time to the antebellum South, where she must confront the brutal realities of slavery. As Dana’s life becomes intertwined with her ancestors, she grapples with questions of identity, responsibility, and survival. Kindred is an emotionally intense and thought-provoking book that offers a unique perspective on the lasting impact of America’s dark past.
    I’ve never read Butler before and I don’t know why? Kindred was amazing–exactly my kind of sci-fi. Character driven and intensely personal, and the sci-fi aspect is almost ignored in the end. It’s about how people act in abnormal situations, instead of the technology that made the abnormal situation. 5/5 will read more of her work.
  4. How Much is Enough? Hungering For God in an Affluent World – Arthur Simon
    A compelling examination of the relationship between material wealth and spiritual hunger. By reflecting on the teachings of Jesus and the experiences of people from various walks of life, Simon encourages readers to reconsider their priorities and seek a deeper connection with God.
  5. Exodus and Leviticus for Everyone – John E. Goldingay
    A super-accessible and engaging commentary on these foundational books of the Old Testament. Goldingay’s ability to bring ancient texts to life through vivid storytelling and practical application makes for an enlightening read.

My Writing Projects

Into The Grey – A Fantasy Novel

I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT

Final count: 138,974 words

Yeah, that’s going to be a real monster to revise. Sounds like a later problem for sure.

Sequel to “Distal” (Untitled: Sci-Fi)

Not… really sure where this is going, but I’m plugging away at it. None of you will remember the novel this one is a sequel to, because exactly two people in the world have read it (myself and one reader lol). In this novel, I’ve decided to write a Cinderella type story (you know, the ruler has to choose a consort type of thing) except the potential consorts are mostly political pawns for various players across the interstellar empire in which this takes place.

Because reasons.

Anyway all that started getting boring at 23k words in so now there’s a murderer aboard the spaceship:

😱Like I said: no idea where this is going. IT WILL BE A RIDE.

And just for fun, some art! I’ve been playing with AI art generators a lot this month. This one makes me think of the Nine Hundred Golden Suns empire. You know, with the fires and the burning and everything.

Hope y’all had a great March 😘

progress · Uncategorized

March!

Is it just me, or did January and February vanish? I’m not at all sure what happened to the last 60-odd days!

February was a just-keep-trucking kind of month for me, writing-wise. I added about 12,000 to Into The Grey, and I can feel it wrapping up now (which is good, because it’s a beast at 130,000 words). Here’s an excerpt from the last few pages:

Things are starting to move in the Five Fiefs.

I also added about ten thou’ to the untitled Nine Hundred Golden Suns prequel. Honest admission: I’m not feeling very excited about this story. I’ve been having a hard time with prequels in general lately; I tried a Bootstrap() prequel for NaNo 2022, and lost interest at about 56000… which is where I stopped working on the untitled NHGS prequel, too. It’s probably a sign that I need to get out of those universes and tell some different stories. That said – Into The Grey is really going well!

On the reading front, I’ve got a goal of reading 75 books this year, and I’m one behind. I think I need to prioritize some more fiction, because nice angsty fiction is always super inspiring to me when it comes to my own writing. In February:

I can never ever get enough Mansfield Park variations where Fanny marries Henry (Unfairly Caught). It’s my own personal Janeite obsession. My favourite read this month was probably re-reading Screwtape Letters – I love those, they’re so good! Least favourite? My Happy Marriage, which Amazon swore up and down I would definitely enjoy. Spoiler: it was super boring.

Actually now that I look at that list, I have been reading lots of fiction. Hmmm.

In other news, work on Bootstrap() continues. I’ve got I think five (?) chapters of the audiobook done now. It’s been a process, working out what works and what… doesn’t. I think I’ve got it down now. The edits to the ms are done, except that I’d like to maybe expand on the ending a little bit. Maybe. I don’t know; maybe the epilogue is enough. I’m wishy-washy about it.

Oh, and I’ve been running a lot. Three times a week! It helps keep the plotting brain clear.

Til next month!

progress

March Progress + April Goals

Haven’t done one of these in a long ol’ while!

Last month was really productive. I mean, just this alone:

Yay. I got through the whole entire thing with purple highlighter + pen (not red pen though: blue pen).

I also started a revision of… The Spice Merchant’s Wife! I haven’t talked much about this project online. Originally drafted for NaNo 2010, this (…and its sequel, and its sequel) has been sitting on my ‘to-edit’ folder for years. What’s it about? Well, on a ~mysterious island~ populated only by women, down-on-her-luck gentlewoman Ciara is forced to marry brash spice merchant Ene despite desperate curiosity to explore beyond the shores. Why are there only women? What happened to the men? Will Ciara like the adventure she’s been hoping for when she finally gets it?

Right now I’m just doing a basic structure-and-grammar edit, because it’s in rusty shape (my first drafts ten years ago were nothing like the first drafts I put out now). I’ve got three about-50k-word manuscripts that I’m probably going to collapse into two parts, and add considerably to (they’re skinny lil things). Of course, that’ll take a bit longer than April, but progress is progress.

Sacrifice now has a release date of May 1. During April, I’m going to give Identity a bit of a facelift–I’ve been working on a slightly updated cover (see below), and I’ll go through again for stray words and general prettiness (and glossary-izing. Identity doesn’t even have a glossary… yet).

As always, I’ll keep puttering around the edges of Into the Grey. This monster now weighs 87 853 words. I’d still like to enhance the third section of it–it’s the least well described, at the moment. I’m thinking this draft is going to end at about 150 000, which is heavy even for high fantasy, unfortunately. There’s just a heck of a plot of plot there, what with Riann, Elisabetta, Damon, Sierra, Morley, the fae, the high court…

progress

Another book, another round of edits

I got the proof copy of Sacrifice in the mail last week, so I’ve been going through it with a highlighter (purple, of course)

Now all of the pages look like that (some better, some worse). It’s amazing how many textual errors there are after I’ve revised after–goodness, six now? revisions. And multiple beta reads!

It feels good though. Once Sacrifice is completed, I’m going to go back and re-review Identity, then this will be… done? The trilogy will be done?!

Oh, that reminds me of my favourite part of Sacrifice:

progress

March wrap-up and April Goals

Well, as I said in my very first ever post “hello,” I’m going to use this blog in part to track my writing progress & goals.

And boy did I make some progress this month!

PROGRESS in March

DRAFTING/EDITING PROJECTS

  1. Bolfenn: beta reading (beta 1 of 3 completed this month)
  2. Into the Grey: drafting, 10k/100k (drafting, 26k/100k target!)
  3. Bootstrap_: alpha reading; ending needs significant re-write (Finished revision & off this list)
  4. Loyalty: alpha reading
    Entirely re-working Loren’s chapters based on alpha feedback. But, I also got a beta read done, and she loved Anutea–so I’m taking that as a good sign for the non-Loren chapters. He’s such a tricky character. I think I’ll do his character sheet next. Tricky. 🤔
  5. Sacrifice: revising & adding scenes still, currently at 58k/90k target

QUERYING PROJECTS

  1. Bootstrap_: Sent three queries:
    1. One rejection to date. Very kind.
      Thank you for querying me with BOOTSTRAP.  I think you have an interesting project here, but I’m afraid I’m not connecting with it on the whole in a way that makes me think I’d be the best champion for it, so I am going to have to pass.

IN THE SOMEDAY-QUEUE

  1. Lesbian Island actual title The Spicer’s Wife, historical spec-fic: needs a from-the-ground-up rewrite
  2. Sad Valkyrie, historical fantasy: also needs a from-the-ground-up rewrite
  3. That Sequel to Bolfenn, sci-fi/new-adult
    I am tentatively combining this with another prequel story on the history of the Ala’pr and the Niptae. Combined 5500/100k words.
  4. The Dreamers and the Dying, hard sci-fi: 2300 words, on pause
  5. The Vernacular of the Regency Romance, LGBTQ historical romance, not even started but I this idea so much ugh

OTHER

@crownyami was super super kind and did a full revision of Identity, which I then incorporated and re-published. It looks so good now guys seriously! Also I’m never ever touching it again, so.

(Until next month… probably).

GOALS for April

Writing

  1. Get all the Loren-POV chapters in Loyalty in their own doc, read this story, and revise so it is a satisfying narrative
  2. Commission character artwork of Casey+Norah in the Ll’Amh bay and begin offering this as a freebie for physical sales
  3. Add at least another 20k words to Into The Grey
  4. Sell five copies (or complete KENP reads) of Identity
    This was last month’s goal too and I did it! 💪 Actually I managed eleven
  5. Add at least 5k words to Sacrifice

Blogging

  1. People liked the post on Print Formatting! So I’ll publish Part Two this month
  2. Collate links and publish the initial Megapost of Online Writing Tools
    I think people will find this one useful too

Social Media

  1. I’d like to increase from 1400ish followers on Twitter to about 2400
  2. Get another review!
    I’d like to complete the year with 10 reviews