Saturday, December 26, 2015

Overwhelmed and underproductive: Winter.

In theory, the concept of winter is excellent. Rest and reflection. A winding down of activity to allow for the shedding of old and outdated energies and the preparation for new ones. Cool.
Lifeline events for the three main
protagonists and antagonists.
It just under six feet long.
Which is awesome for the earth, because she (or he, or it, depending on the earth energies you have in your area) will automatically start up again when THE TIME HAS COME. 

I, however, will not. I have to kick start that shit every year and it gets harder and harder each year. And the longer the breaker, the more energy it takes getting started again. Kind of like an ocean liner or a semi. Better to leave it running in a low-ish power state because getting it started again is a real bitch.

Now that most of the holiday nonsense is over I can get back to making my habits habitual.

Line of rulers,
 timeline history of the kingdom,
map (I have a bigger one),
house and guild symbols,
And inspirational symbols.
Here are pictures of some of the things I've been working on that are related to my book. I also have pages of written notes both for the novel and for possible short stories.

I've been writing a bit too.

But I feel I need to pull back a little, go back to a commitment of at least fifteen minutes a day writing, but this time focusing on things that are NOT my book.

Soooo...the blog entry is not going to count toward that. But I feel a written statement of this affirmation is necessary. Also, this pictorial evidence of my work-in-progress actually being worked on is affirming for me.

I have found that when I do some non-book writing and then go back to my book writing, I feel renewed. Sometimes when you stare at the same three chapters for two weeks they start to seem repetitive and dull.

Things that can be discussed for this writing practice: SCA research for my persona, Valdis Skjaldardottir. I still need a specific time period for her. The Norse settlements and expansions - and yes, invasions - covered a broad area and a time period over over 200 years. Though two hundred years does not seem like much in the broad scheme of history, there was much variation in through the time and the geographical areas. 

Valdis Skjaldardottir:
Who is she?
First attempt at an approximation of Norse dress. I needed it fast for an event, that's why it's so simplistic. The next one will be better, proper fitting, proper fabric, proper pattern. But there is a huge variation in styles just for the apron dress and there are supposed to be brooches, which I couldn't afford when I was making it. The under tunic needs work, it was already too big when I made it and I've lost weight since then.

I need armor and arms for my heavy weapons combat training

I want to study basic things too, things common to the whole breadth of the SCA time period that will also help me bring my writing to life, like knowing how to build a proper fire: what wood is best, how much is needed for a small campfire through one night,
 lighting it with flint and tinder, how to heat water and cook basic food on it (like a bird or rabbit) on it, how to keep it going, and how to properly put it out when you are continuing on your noble quest the next day. I need most of the same information for fireplace fires too, both of wood and of charcoal. Those I also need to know how to bank to keep them from going out.

Then there's food: both for camping and living, medicine, grooming, clothing, care and use of horses, and on and on and on. There's plenty of blog entry material right there.

I also have a green belt test coming up for my martial arts class, there's some angst there. I'm trying to train for it. I've been limping along in my fitness goals, but the green belt test is a fixed goal, it's thirteen weeks away. Time to buckle down.
A lady and her knight.
In closing, I will leave you with this picture. I don't know who it depicts or who painted it, if anyone knows for sure (as in you can give me a link for authenticity) please tell me. I'm usually not into the "damsel and her knight" ideal, as the damsel usually had almost no control over her own life and what the hell is with these dresses? What are you supposed to be able to do in those dresses except stand around and look pretty? But sometimes the depiction is just too painfully beautiful.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I never made it to the print shop.

Self: Oh. My. God. That story is amazing. I just sat here for three hours writing this short story. This is a pretty damn good story, I think. And look, I have nine more ideas!

Myself: Well, I think it's way over the top. I know we like melodrama, but come on...

Self: Shut up. It's perfect. Well, sort of perfect. It's okay. Damn it, maybe it is too much. Is it too much?

Myself: By the way, we were supposed to go to the print shop today. Now we can't go, it's too late. And we're on call tomorrow.

Self: Shut up.

Myself: Do you even know where you could submit this to get it published? Magazines? Anything?You don't, do you.

Self: I hate you.

I can't believe I wrote a short story. I severely dislike writing short stories. I'm not good at it. Short stories are too....SHORT. They resolve too quickly. But if I can get some short stories published I might have a better chance getting a book published.

And I was whinging to myself this morning that maybe we could do what my husband told me to try, taking out a piece of my book and expanding it. I thought "But there's nothing there that's really a story with a beginning, middle, and end that can resolve quickly enough to be a short story. There's too much interconnection."

'Cause that's how I roll, with connections.

Also, I didn't want to give out snippets of my actual book. I'm very protective of it. I want it published all at once.

In the story.
And then my Muse threw something at me (I think it was a rock. A little rock.) and I sat down and wrote for three hours.

I have a full first draft of a story plus several really good ideas for others and a few that may not work but sound good. Ten stories in all.

Guess I'm going to the book store after my last day at work on Sunday to look for magazines that publish fantasy stories.

Write, edit, rewrite: that's how the story goes.

Do you ever have the nagging feeling you're supposed to be somewhere?

It's nine am and I'm not at work, at the Massage Envy Spa at which I was employed. Barring holidays, I have worked 9am -2pm for two years.

So, I finished NaNoWriMo. I won! That just means I successfully completed the 50,000 word goal. Printed out it's 100 pages, plus a few hand-written pages I haven't gotten to yet because I've been working on the map of my world and the life timelines for the three major characters to show major life events and intersection points.

I need the map to show nexus power points, rivers, boundary lines for the various barons' territories, etc. Helps me plot who did what, where, and why. Just drawing the map has helped me with the political plot line (as opposed to the romantic plot line, which intersects at various points), because that was very weak. Basically it was, "The duke tries to take over because reasons." Now the dukes plans have been going on for awhile

I have this nagging twitch that I should actually be at the computer starting my first rewrite, but these timelines and maps are important. In fact I keep jumping up from writing this update so I can fix something I just thought of. I need to firmly establish dates and places so I don't confuse myself. I need to know exactly when events happened so I don't have a, "Hey, earlier they said they didn't meet until a year ago, now it's two years?" I don't like when that happens. Sort of pulls you out of the world of story.

Oh and family trees for the three major characters and the three strongest supporting characters. And I still need to work on the history timeline of the realm, that's important too. When the historical invasions, wars, and peace treaties happened, when major cities were established, when the major keeps and castles were built. Also when the magisters guild was established.

So I am working on the story. These will all help me do the rewrite much more quickly, being able to reference a timeline instead of digging through pages of notes.

Now I'm going up to town to see about possibly having my rough draft bound, maybe spiral bound, so it will be easier to type from.

I'm really doing this. I really am writing a book.