Saturday, March 25, 2017

What I Learned This Week

It's been a while since I did one of these; way too long in my opinion. It's due to me not working on my novel as much as I should be. I'm getting back into it. This month, I've already done almost as much as I have the two months prior combined. Sometimes, the hardest thing is understanding why you're trying to sabotage yourself. Which is what I've been doing. Still, I'm looking forward to getting it done. Hopefully next month. I have signed up for Camp Nanowrimo and put myself down for 50 hours or whatever it takes for me to finish this novel. Hopefully, I'll have damn good news for you each week on it!

That's not what I actually wanted to talk to you about today, though. Today, I want to tell you about what I learned this week. I've been working on my edits and one of my characters is getting a lot more screen time than she was before. Unfortunately, her chapters have never come easily for me to write and these were getting to feel like I was pulling teeth.

About this time, long time blog followers will note something missing... I haven't said which character yet. No, that isn't me being coy at all. It's for a reason.

You see a name is important; very important. Especially for me. Even in my Pathfinder games, I will search for the right name for days, trying to figure out exactly what I want. I will search for names that have the meaning I want, that sound the way I want that name to flow. I look for names that resonate, not only for me but for them and the way they want to be portrayed.

Skylla isn't human, but she was human when she was born. She's a hunter by trade, and lonely by choice. But her name was wrong. It was a Celtic name meaning archer or some type of warrior... and while that's what she is too, it wasn't right. Skylla doesn't sound like a warrior's name. Also, she isn't Celtic. All of the characters from my book have names that we have in our world.

This week, I discovered that Skylla's human parents were from different cultures. Yet she wasn't named from either of those cultures. Searching both cultures I found two names that I quite liked. So I combined both names, not only into the meaning that suits her but into a name that suits her. Her name is now properly Isashi.

The interesting part of this was that it also led me to rename one other character. The name I had given to him was a name I love and one that was the name of a character in a book series I quite enjoy. But the name wasn't his, and due to its French connotations, it sounded like a girl's name. It was confusing most of my alpha readers, especially since that character isn't from a French background. I looked back to what his name originally was. It suited him better and the meaning suited him better. Even better, I found out that it was from the culture I wanted in that area. So, Jocelin is now Deckard.

What about you? Are you a sucker for names? Do you have trouble writing characters that are mis-named or is that by far, the easiest part of your writing process? Let me know, in the comments below.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Baby Steps

          I'm going to start doing small posts to get back into doing this on a weekly/twice-weekly basis. To that end, today's post is just going to be a quick update on where my writing is. I have been writing, nearly every day since I finally finished reading Anne Bishop's latest novel, Etched in Bone. I'd been waiting a year to read it, so from the moment I received it, there was very little writing being done.

          Since then, I've written a rough draft of a new chapter and written some on a new one. Right now these are very rough and honestly, I sorta hate them (one I finished and realized that what I had learned from that chapter was one way NOT to write that chapter), but I think the main issue with them right now is that they feel like puzzle pieces that don't fit. A lot of it is transitions and some of it is the fact that they are still rough, without the faintest of editing yet. I think that once I've worked on them more I'll fall in love with them and as I work on making them fit in with my novel, they will start fitting in a lot better. Right now though, I have the difficult task of working when I feel like I can't write. But I am determined to get this done, and so I'm hoping that these added chapters will be done soon and I can start the editing. I really want this book to be done, sent to my editor and out for the rest of you soon. I also don't want to send out an inferior novel just because I'm impatient. Its a difficult line to walk. Not perfect, but not inferior either.  Hopefully you'll agree with me that its been worth it when you read it.

          But that's enough for now. I'll see you all next time!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Preorders and (Amazing) Purchases

          Bleh, failure after failure... All my fault. February has hit fully, which means painful tendonitis flare-ups and an intense desire to read, forever. Still, lazy doesn't mean I get off scott-free. I have been reading a whole hell of a lot, mainly in preparation for next month and the release of a new book by my one of my favourite authors. Buying that book may have led to me going a bit insane with the books, though... Let me regale you. 

          When Anne Bishop first released Written in Red, an urban fantasy in a not-earth setting, I held off getting it until Christmas of that year and even then, it was not the book I was most excited about. I had a lot of amazing books that year, but Written in Red was one of my favourites. Every year since then, she's released another one, with the final book being released this March, finally. Even after so long, I have been excited as hell for this novel. I've been reading the entire series again, just to make sure that I'm 100% caught up on the entire story before the last one comes out on the 7th. 

          That wasn't the end, though. I found other items that made me drool in anticipation. Spice & Wolf had mentioned an upcoming release last November of a Collectors Edition with all 17 of the past books in it. I was super excited for it, even if the price tag of nearly $200 depressed me. Anyways, as I assume you've figured out by then, I found out that it was being released on February 28th. I couldn't resist, even with the price tag and knowing that I already own all 17 books in physical copies. 

          I received that book today. 

           It's amazing. The book is huge, a near-perfect square. The writing inside is reddish and every drawing of the series has been made larger for this set. The quality is incredible I am so excited. I will probably never read it, sure I would cry if I damaged it. Take a look at my pictures. What do you think of it?

          I am so pleased with my purchase, you have no idea. I have convinced my husband that it needs a velvet-lined stand to display it in. 

          I also found out that Isuna Hasekura has written another book for the Spice & Wolf series that will be focusing on Holo and Lawrence's daughter. Apparently, he's handing over Holo's crown to her, and a full book of her and Cole's adventures will be coming out later this year, or early next... at any rate, I ordered that as well, though I think it won't be releasing until May this year. 

          Then I found out that Patricia Briggs is releasing books as well this month.... I should rise again to continue writing soon, but for today, and for the next week or so, assume that I'll be writing. 

          What about you? With so many books being released right now, are there any that you're super excited about? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Plotting away...

Alright! I am back and writing again. My arm is still hurting a bit... it seems that the fall managed to exacerbate my tendinitis, which had been reasonably good until then. However, with time all things heal... and get even better! I had time to finish reading over that section and have a plethora of idea to throw in to change the part that my editor suggested cutting. Don't get me wrong, quite a bit of it will still be cut, but a lot will be added as well, including an entire section with Skylla that wasn't in before. It will take a bit of work to do, but that doesn't scare me; I wrote a book. If work scared me, I'd never have begun all this in the first place.

However, my tendinitis is still here, which does mean I'm taking it a bit slower than I would like right now. I'm starting off with a regime of a minimum of 250 words a day. If I'm on a roll at that point, I can continue writing to my heart's content, but if I'm hurting I can stop, knowing I've done my work for the day. So far, its working well. I'm hoping to have a few chapters done of it sooner.

I'm also considering sharing my first couple of chapters on here... if that's something you think you'd like, let me know in the comments below.

Lastly, I can share some exciting news with you all! I finally got my professional pictures taken. It will take me a few weeks to get my pictures back, but when I do, I will have a headshot ready and waiting for my novels as well as a fun picture for things like Facebook and maybe even Twitter. I can't wait to show them off! Keep an eye out for those coming soon!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Super Short Update

          It has been too long. Sorry for that. I got caught by another minor cold followed by a slip on the ice that drove posting here out of my mind. I'm nearly all better now... the slip took out my hand for a few days, but its working now, even if its still hurting when I type too much. I've been drawing a bit and doing a lot of reading. I have gotten a bit of editing done, and gotten my new photos taken, so I should have those to show you soon.

          So, yeah, just a super short update to let you know why I haven't been posting. Since my hand is still hurting a bit if I use it too much, I'll go back and rest, hopefully coming back with a full post later in the week.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Goodreads Reading Challenge

          Every year since I've found out about it, I have taken part in it. Last year, I only just made my goal of 100 books and so this year, I finally decided to lower it. Instead of 100 books, I'll be going for 75. It's an easy goal, it will keep me reading and, most importantly, I should be able to avoid feeling super stressed out about it. Last year, and just a little bit the prior year making that goal of 100 books stressed me out. It isn't good for my writing, or me in general, to get that stressed out over such a little thing. Especially since it isn't a competition. My goal is not to wow people with how many books I read each year. Those that will be wowed, would be as wowed by me reading 20 books as they would be by my reading 100.

          Having said all that, I have read 7 books to date this year (available here if you want to see which books they are). I have four books on the go in my to be read pile now and you can check out what those are, right here.

          Another thing I'm doing this year is to try and be creative in more ways. To that end, I'm working on drawing more this year. If you want to follow my work, you can check out my drawings here. The ones I'm working on now will all be going into my scrap file, since they're just scrap work, essentially. I used to work on my art a lot more often, but once I started writing, it went to the backburner and recently, I don't draw much at all. Because of that, my pictures aren't really very good yet. However, I am working with an app that gets you to draw something each day, so I can only hope my work will improve as time goes on. Right now, I only have one drawing up and one inking practice sheet, but it should be interesting later on.

          Are you working on being more creative this year? Did you sign up for the Reading Challenge of 2017? Let me know in the comments! Lastly, if you want to keep your Friday evening open this week, I'll be hosting an evening of #fntwp on Twitter again. Come and join me if you want to write, talk about writing or have some questions you'd like to ask me there!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

My Year in Books- 2016 Edition

          Hello, everyone! Welcome back. I have a few things I'm going to have to get working on, but I told you earlier this year that I wanted to let you know what my year in books was. So I took a picture of the Goodreads graphic and I thought you'd find it interesting as well.

         Firstly, I read 100 books in 2016! A few of them were rather short, and one was actually a children's book (still counts). It made up for at least one of my books actually being a trilogy in a single volume, I feel. That 100 books was 31,739 pages worth of reading! I was more than a little stunned when I realised that as well.

          The shortest book I read was only 36 pages long; the children's book, Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke. Offhand, if you have young children and are a bit of geek, I totally suggest this one. The writing is fun and simple for kids, but if you game, it's even better. Goblin is "hanging out his friend Skeleton" and the picture clearly shows them playing a D&D/Pathfinder type of game in one page. Another is when Goblin finds the heroes who have stolen his treasure, they have taken a buxom wench as part of the treasure. The woman herself seems quite displeased with that turn of events as well. It was entirely hilarious and worth reading.

         The longest book I read was Anne Bishop's, The Black Jewels Trilogy. The book contains the books Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows and Queen of Darkness. Pagewise the volume itself is 1,204 pages long. A great book for anyone looking for something to read. Anne Bishop books all contain a very feminist outlook, this one detailing what actually happens when women take too much of the power back and start abusing it to boot. As well, her books have been perfectly described by a friend of mine as "Violence meets Marital Bliss" which strangely works super well together.

          The most popular book I read this year, by far, was Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I shared that books genius with nearly 2,250,000  other people! The least popular book I read was a manga of Overlord, Vol. 3 by Kugane Maruyama. Only 8 other people worldwide read it with me. Sort of an insane difference, isn't it?

          I learned that I tend to rate books rather highly since last year my average star rating was 3.9 and that the highest star rating all around for a novel that I read was Brandon Sanderson's Bands of Mourning which overall have a 4.46 average rating on Goodreads.

          Next week, I'll talk about this reads Reading Challenge with Goodreads (Yes, I'm doing it again, with a lower total this year). Today, I'll leave you with an apology; I forgot to mention in my last post that I had also received Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I can't wait to read it later on this year.