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 😘

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May progress & June goals

I. am. exhausted.

There’s so much going on, this progress report is a week late! Oh well. C’est la vie.

Last month I worked considerably on Into The Grey.. It’s now sitting at about 117k words, and nearly to the end (*of the first novel in what ought to be a trilogy, eventually). Riann is finally, 117k words after we met him, actually going… into the grey 😂

Book sales were OK this month. I also signed up for a couple of in-person events (😲). I’ll be at the Glebe Community Centre on June 19th, and at Lansdowne in August for the Ottawa Book Expo. Preparing for those has taken up a lot of mental bandwidth… I’ve made bookmarks, ordered a Square card reader, ordered 20 copies each of the trilogy (and they are HEAVY), etc. The bookmarks look pretty sweet though.

Just ignore my nail polish

Otherwise it was fairly quiet for writing. Now that Into The Grey is (nearly) first-draft-complete, I’ll be re-reading it to fill in any gaps or weird time skips, then setting that manuscript aside for a while. Not sure what I want to work on next–maybe a revision of Bootstrap_? Or I have a story idea percolating in the back of my mind about Junu and Presio-ru from the trilogy…

GOALS FOR JUNE:

  1. Complete Into The Grey draft one! (‼)
  2. Re-read Bootstrap_ and note anything that wants improving. Tentative release goal for December 2022…?
  3. Sell books at the Glebe Community Centre! I sure hope!

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…

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April wrap-up

I cannot believe it’s the end of April already.

Seriously… what a month. Mostly in personal things–it was an extremely trying month. But! Looking at what I did get accomplished, I’m pretty impressed with myself! The biggest one, of course: condo is sold. Signed, sealed, delivered! It’s off our hands. After three months of reno-ing on the weekends with a three year old trailing along, it’s hard to express what a relief this is. Now we’re looking for a new place and 👻

Anyway, on to the actually pertinent stuff. Y’know, writing!

As you can see from the summary below–this month was focused heavily on two projects: Loyalty (which has moved into beta-reading) and Into the Grey (to which I managed to add 24k words). No real progress on other projects, unfortunately.

PROGRESS in April

DRAFTING/EDITING PROJECTS

  1. Bolfenn: beta reading (no updates. Is it OK to nudge a beta reader if there’s like no progress? I don’t want to irritate anyone but…)
  2. Into the Grey: drafting, 26k/100k target (broke 50k last night!)
  3. Loyalty: alpha reading (beta reading)
  4. Sacrifice: currently at 58k/90k target (no progress this month)

QUERYING PROJECTS

  1. Bootstrap_: Sent three queries:
    1. Another two rejections this month. Also submitted a couple more places.

IN THE SOMEDAY-QUEUE

No updates from last month 😭

  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

And as for goals… it was a pretty successful month!

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
    if it’s satisfying or not, I don’t know, but it’s reasonably coherent.
  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
    As of today–four. Sooooo close 😭
  5. Add at least 5k words to Sacrifice
    Haha nope.

Blogging

  1. People liked the post on Print Formatting! So I’ll publish Part Two this month
    Nope.
  2. Collate links and publish the initial Megapost of Online Writing Tools

Social Media

  1. I’d like to increase from 1400ish followers on Twitter to about 2400
    Another close one. I’m at about 2150 right now! 1000 per month was probably a bit too ambitious.
  2. Get another review!
    THREE new reviews. Blasted past this one.
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
Uncategorized

Loyalty progress

March is the month of endless revisions, apparently: Identity (which I actually had the gall to think I was done with) and now I have beta feedback on Loyalty.

Actually it’s not bad. I’d planned to dedicate the entire month of April to fixing whatever structural problems came up, and… drum roll please… there don’t appear to be any!

At least, not in the opinion of one person.

My alpha reader still thinks it doesn’t pack the same punch Identity did, and obviously I don’t want it to be a let-down, so I think I’m going to let it simmer a bit. I’ll dedicate April to it by not even looking at it, then return in May and hopefully have a bit of distance to be able to evaluate it properly and figure out what secret spice is still missing.

It needs that zing.

Criticism:

  • I use too many ellipses (guilty)
  • Same but for semi-colons (definitely guilty)
  • Paragraphs could do with being longer to create better flow
    • Actually this one is funny because Identity has the exact opposite problem
  • Cut a little dialogue–“be careful, or the reader might feel a bit tired”

And positive remarks:

  • “I definitely can see that Anutéa has matured during the whole book, in fact she is my favourite character. But at the same time, she is really courageous and badass, something that I am not, but I know every reader wants to be”
    • YAY
  • “I also enjoyed how this book is fast paced, but at the same time it is not rushed as some novels tend to be”
    • DOUBLE YAY

And a really great idea:

  • “I enjoyed also how the book is structured!  It would also be cool to have a glossary on how to pronounce the names and a map! A map would be awesome”

Well, off I toddle to go Google the best way to create glossaries for entirely imaginary worlds which exist in my mind.

(The trouble with maps, of course, is that right now my jumpgate travel system is entirely non-falsifiable. I can say RE-ytri is a two-days’ journey from AA-olea, and who can argue? Once there’s a map though…

I foresee trouble ahead)