My scheduled posts have caught up to real time. It appears that I have dropped the ball a bit. To be clear, I am not sitting down tonight and scheduling a dozen or so posts, I just thought I’d let you know that there’s going to be a month or so lapse of any activity on my blog.

Why a month you ask?

nanowrimo

Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment… or maybe I’m just determined. You can’t succeed at something any other way – right?

I spent today knocking around ideas for book 2, which is funny because I haven’t finished book 1. I thought I had… but as you know we came up with so many changes that I pretty much scrapped it and have started over. So I could work on Forgotten Guardian, FG2 or my Monster/Steampunk story. For the first time in forever, I have some really good things for book 2 though. I’ve had hundreds of ideas throwing themselves at my brain for the last couple of weeks and I couldn’t sift through them all. Luckily my beloved Nikki agreed to sit with me today and as I unloaded, her reactions varied from dubious to excited. I think it’s FINALLY ready.

I feel like I completely obliterated all of the original things that made up the second book, but I actually didn’t. I actually circled back around to my very very very original idea – which kind of makes sense considering after I changed things it all became horribly convoluted.

Fifty thousand words is chump change when it comes a story… it barely makes up a novella. But actually knocking that out? Well… definitely easier said than done. But if I can work out a beefy outline for FG2, or even complete book one of Monster Squad – then awesome. Oh, yeah – that’s it’s inside joke of a working title. Obviously I can’t run with it because of the 80’s classic, but I’ll come up with something. I’ve tried running with this book for a couple years now, but with the updates I’ve recently made I believe it’s workable now as well.

It might be silly to start these things before I leave… but I’m never going to give up writing. If nothing else, it gives me a center and a focus and an amazing hobby. One day I’ll get published, and even if it takes me another ten years to kneed out the kinks – then the journey will still be an interesting one.

Music fueled internal dialogue

Sometimes… it’s not about coming up with usable content. Sometimes it’s just about spending some time in your character’s psyche. Learning who they are, how they’ll react. Stories change, grow, and transform as you’re writing. Characters take on a life of their own and drive the story out of your control. Hopefully you’re quick enough to keep up with them… if not then you’ll slam face first into the cement they’ve left you stranded on.

If you can find music to lose yourself in, it’s easier to meet your character. A certain note or chord can trigger a kinship to help you connect on a primal level. Turn the music up, tune out the world, and just get to know them. You might discover they story they have to tell is better than the one you thought you were writing.

A lot of what I write or jot down will never appear in a book. It will never actually be used in a story. Much of it is random happenstance that is too good to discard, but outside what’s actually happening.

I’ve never read a lot of manga or comics. I don’t know why – just never really could get into them. (This is funny considering I’m wanting to turn a couple of my story ideas into graphic novels instead of books). Many will have cute little “asides” that have nothing to do with the story. Just little fantastic “what if’s” worked into the margins or a couple of frames. They’re cute, funny, chibi usually… And that’s much of what my character communing really is.

At some point I’d like to imagine Kaidd joining Nicholai in his adventures with the crew of the ETC. Talking a relatively protective Nicholai into anything would take a fair amount of reasoning and far more sass than most people would have at their disposal, but I fell Kaidd could pull it off.

“Let me help you.”

“Kaidd…. no.”

“Just hear me out. I came out here to help and you’ve turned me into a glorified secretary. I get it. I understand that you’re trying to keep me safe. I’m related to our planet’s most famous and infamous men. I’ve had the absolute best physical training that money could possibly buy IF it wasn’t designed exclusively for me. Let’s not forget that I’m just as skilled at subterfuge as you and Uncle Nathan EVER were.

“Yet I’m the unit’s secretary.”

“You understand that our intel, backed up by Doc’s precognition leans towards the mole being a woman. That whomever she approaches is going to have to play the part to the hilt regardless of the part she plays.”

“You’re aware that I’m not unfamiliar with women, right?”

“We don’t need to have this conversation.”

“It’s not like I’m going to fall in love. Besides, I’d be the most likely target if I did join the group.”

“How do you figure?”

“I’d like to point out that while you’re all still good looking men… you’re old. All of you. I’m youthful, and to anyone that doesn’t know me, I’m most likely ignorant. I’m a perfect target,  because let’s not forget I’m also gorgeous. I understand it’s a dangerous mission,  but I’m up to the task.”

“You’re such a jack ass.”

“Well I get it from you. Learned, inherited, the whole nine.”

“Fuck off.”

“Wait, does that mean I’m in? “

“I said fuck off.”

“Yes! I’m in!”

That Moment

When the florescent bulb finally buzzes to life above your head. It took forever and no matter how many times you tried… it just wouldn’t light.You thought you’d tried every connection… when at last…

And then you can’t tear yourself away.

Trapped at the keyboard for hours. Ideas pouring out of your head.

I knew I was trying to cram too much into one book, or even two. It took the focus off of the main characters. You’re not supposed to have just a story with people in it, your characters are supposed to carry the story, and I lost track of my characters. Of my original idea.

I’ve broken everything down into a short story series. Fifteen novellas in total which will revolve around a group of youthful supernatural enthusiasts. They’re going to inherit the world anyway, they might as well step up when it comes time to save it – right?

I have the two over-arching plots in place and the chapters outlined for six of the books. I even had to go ahead and throw in one of the scenes I’d been thinking about previously. But now it’s late… and I have work in the morning… And currently – still a job to go to in the morning. I won’t complain about that. Fingers crossed for a easy enough day to spare my mental facilities for the evening.

Another piece

I’m excited to announce that I have picked up another little bit of my equipment. The Static V sleeping pad. I’m part of a wonderful group on facebook, the Appalachian Trail Women’s Group and I asked for a consensus. about eighty percent of my responses came back to try this one – so I did.

No sale, but not overly expensive to begin with. I’m 5’5″ and was worried about the size. I read the reviews and decided to stick with the medium. It seems to be a great fit. Granted… I’m SO not used to laying so flat. I usually have a pillow between my knees or under them, so I may have to spend the weight and pick up a couple of small pillows.

 

20160921_210727I tested it out with my sleeping bag and they’re pretty comfy together. They both pack down nice and quick. So far, so good. I’ll even be able to use them both on the A.T.20160921_210816

Like my yellow toenail in the pictures? Oops.

 

Not with a bang….

This is the way the world ends… this is the way the world will ends. Not with a bang…. but with Miss Kitty Fantastico devouring the earth’s resources.


Don’t get me wrong… Miss Kitty is a gorgeous feline. She’s sweet and affectionate and loves being worshiped. We jokingly started calling her Miss Kitty Fat-ass-tico long before we ever moved. She liked to eat and was always very vocal about.

Well recently I have relocated her to the King John House with the rest of our menagerie… and it appears that she has decided to live up to her name. There are three other cats in the house, so we leave a bowl of food out for whenever they come through to scrounge.

Miss Kitty however is so excited about the prospect of a never ending food supply, every time we turn around, she’s back on the shelf. Eating. She polished off the second bowl of food the other day. Ethan – being the helpful lad – refilled it and decided to run interference with Miss Kitty while Quiddley jumped up to grab a quick bite.

The boy became distracted though and she darts around him and leaps into the air… to land on top of Quiddley. She pins him and straddles him as she shoves her face into the bowl.

Quiddley, never one to turn away the attention of the pretty girl, just sat there completely baffled by what happened and watched her woof down the food. He finally had enough of watching the animalistic way she scarfed the kibble and carefully extracted himself from beneath her.

If we’re not careful,she’ll also sneak in and steal the dog’s food. I can’t limit how much food is in the bowl and when the other cats get fed, but if it goes on like this, she’s going to blow up like a balloon. Le Sigh…. She was svelt and lovely…. Soon though I believe she will resemble a long haired bowling ball.

Babbling brook of imagination

I strove for a long long time to organize my writing. Work on figuring out plots, sub-plots, twists, turns, and gems. It was not easy… but I feel I more or less finally accomplished it. I don’t know if it was the steps I took.. the job I was in, or the tools at my disposal…

Only now…

I can’t write. The outlining leaves the content dull and lifeless. The process is no longer organic. It’s like my brain rebels violently at being lead down a narrow path.

Don’t get me wrong. My writing wasn’t anything amazing to begin with. I’m rarely clever and sorely confounding. When you write in figure eights – you need to have something to keep you on track.

The truth of it is though… I wrote more on the fly, than I ever have under a strict plan.

I suppose it could be where I am in my life. I actually have things I’m looking forward to. I have a dream and path that leads to it. My trek to the mountains is finally rising to it’s climax… I don’t want to write any less… but I don’t need to write. It’s not bursting from me like tidewaters any more.

I’ll have to be content with the trickle for now.

A little bit of good

So a few days ago as I worked on throwing out some trash, I look down to see a little tree frog in the drive way. This in and of itself wasn’t wholly surprising, I’ve seen quite a few since moving here. I reach down to shoo him away from the path I was walking so he wouldn’t get crushed. I could see the fear in his eyes – how badly he wanted to leap away… only he couldn’t. He pawed desperately with his two front legs and dragged himself forward a few centimeters. His hind legs unresponsive.

I bent down and noticed how dirty the poor thing was – as if he’d dragged himself all the way to the spot. I wonder if word gets around the animal kingdom. If someone told him to find the crazy animal lady. He braced himself as I picked him up. He crawls pathetically up my arm a little bit and relaxes on my wrist as I carry him inside.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with him. Terry suggested a quick passing might be more of a blessing than a long, drawn out death. I looked at the little guys amber eyes and told him I couldn’t do it. I was going to put him in Rex’s old cage and we’d check on him later. Knowing that he needed a good amount of humidity to keep his skin moist, I filled up the little bowl and put it in the tank that sat in the garage.

Later that afternoon, I found the poor little guy lying on his back in the bowl. Saddened, I reached in, to find that he wasn’t dead, just stuck. I pulled him out of the bowl and made sure he was on the solid glass. I knew the tank was dirty, so I decided to clean it out. Considering he couldn’t hop away, I left him on the front step and cleaned the tank and got him set back up.

As I carried him back inside, I noticed that his toes were twitching. This was a great improvement over how lankly he dragged them behind him before. That afternoon, I checked again. One leg he could move almost completely. I patted him on the head, left a few bug bits just in case and hoped for the best.

This afternoon when Ethan and I checked on the tank. He let out a massive leap, almost clearing the tank. He didn’t land on his feet, rather on his back, but he wriggled and squirmed enough to right himself and fumble forward to a better aimed jump.

I was thrilled when I lifted him out. I decided it was time. Maybe some fresh bugs and sunlight would speed his recovery. Ethan and I carried him out and nestled him deep inside the ginger bush in our yard. He immediately hopped from one massive leaf to another and found a nice perch to sun himself. Carry on my little friend – and spread the word.