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Progress….

Quick announcement: I will have a short story free every weekend for a while, so if you follow me on Amazon, or here, or join my newsletter, you can get information about the free short stories. I will be trying to get a few new, never before seen, short stories out soon as well, so look for those.

Now on with the regularly scheduled blog post:

I decided to catch up on some files today and see what I’ve been doing. It’s the middle of the year, and the third month into my “writing for a living” adventure, so it seems fitting. I think I’m doing more check ins since going full time, but this helps me gauge how well I’m doing with the word count and keep things in perspective.

Sorry but this is going to have a bunch of numbers. There will also be a summery at the end.

Since 2012 I have published 33 short stories, 6 novellas and 5 full length novels. (Novella is 10-49k, shorts are less, novels more.) That’s just over half a million words published. Of course many of the short stories are in anthologies so I only have 24 books out, but… that’s a lot of stories that I’ve completed. It’s hard to see how many things I’ve completed since I am often working on a single book for months at a time with no end, so it’s good to remember that I can, and have, completed stories.

This year has also had it’s busy moments with moving twice (in Feb and May) slowing me down a bit. But I’m still getting a steady stream of words out, and so far this year I’ve written 79,000 words. April has been my best month to date with 22.6k words written, and of course Feb, the month we moved to Texas, was the worst. Considering we packed for two weeks straight then drove for five days I’m glad I got any work done at all in Feb.

For a little bit of comparison, in 2017 and 2018 I wrote a total of just over 100k words each year. That’s all twelve months, including my attempt at NaNoWriMo which I failed both years. This year, and it’s only the first week of June, I’m already at 80k, and I should hit the 100k mark by end of month. Most of that writing has been since March so I’m on track.

My average daily word count has gone up from 300 to 900 words a day. It fluctuates, of course, but I try to get at least 500 on the days when we’re busy with things, like moving. So far it’s worked. The goal is to get to 2k a day by the end of this month. Eventually I’d like to get to 5k a day, but that’s going to take some stretching of the muscles.

These averages are written words on days that I write. I try not to skip days, but there are always days when you’re inundated with other things, like doctor appointments, travel, sickness, or the like. That is why I want to keep getting that average word count up, because I know days off happen and I want to offset them. I’ve set a monthly goal of 20k words at the moment, but I want it up to 30k soon. I’ve got to keep stretching. Keep working harder.

I haven’t done a lot of marketing. Right now my boyfriend and I agree that I just need to complete novels. Marketing can be so much easier if you have that back log of books to go through. Plus my strongest suit is in writing, not marketing, so if I have a lot to work out I will feel like I can take some time off writing to figure out the marketing bits with less issue.

I’ve also been posting a lot of artwork over on Redbubble as stickers, mugs, and things like that, as well as posting a bit more on instagram. Drawing has always been a way for me to relax and have fun, so I will be continuing to do that. I even have a coloring book out.

Summery: I’ve written a lot over the last few years, but this year has been a great increase and I’m working to get even more done. Also look for those free short stories on the weekends going forward, and a few new ones to be added.

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Posted by on June 13, 2019 in On Writing

 

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Birthday Fun

For my birthday we went to a dinner and a movie. For dinner we had a show, too, since we went to one of the Japanese grills nearby where the chef cooks on the table in front of you. He was really good, and pretty funny. And the food was delicious.

Overall a great day.

This month has been crazy with the second move this year, a published book, and cleaning up and posting a bunch of my artwork on redbubble. But we are getting settled in and I am back to writing again. Onto the next book. I want this one finished in a month! I can do this!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2019 in On Writing

 

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Review: Dark Phoenix (no spoilers)

We just got back from the Dark Phoenix and… it was okay.

There were some great action scenes. I loved a lot of the special affects. The actors did a great job with the story they were given. There were, however, a few things that didn’t make sense. Unfortunately the part that made this just okay, and not amazing for me was the character development. It really didn’t have time to develop as we hopped around from one place to another so that Fox could bring in all of their licenses characters with impunity.

I feel like the Phoenix Saga could be an amazing series, or a trilogy that is allowed to develop and mature. Let the audience fall in love with the characters, see their pain and turmoil. Don’t just cram it all into two hours and say “there’s a movie for ya.”

I actually thought Sophie Turner did an amazing job of playing Jean Grey. I wasn’t sure it would be a good fit since I had only seen her in GoT before, but she did very well, and very shortly into the movie I just saw her as Jean Grey instead of Sansa. But the plot was clipped together, with large parts of her story left feeling…unfinished. This wasn’t Turner’s doing, but rather the stiff formatting of the film.

This could easily have been broken into either two or three movies. First section would be her getting the power of the phoenix and disappearing. Second would be her coming to terms with everything. That would have fixed a majority of the problems in the film.

The cringiest part was Raven saying “maybe this should be the X-women.” She conveniently forgets that Nightcrawler and Quicksilver did most of the work and complains to Xavior that the women are doing all the saving of the men. So ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with girl power, but please can you respect the other people that help you regardless of their sex? (The rest of the story had nothing to do with women power, it was just a throw away comment that stood out for how terrible it is.)

There were a few other sections that felt stilted, or off. A lot of it boiled down to rushing the plot and not giving time to develop the intentions and transition of peoples ideas. One second they want to kill someone, the next they decide to save her. The switch happens so quickly that it was unbelievable.

Overall it was an okay film. It did have some cool scenes, and I enjoyed seeing the phoenix effects on the big screen. I probably wouldn’t watch it again though.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2019 in Review

 

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Adventures Await!

The next book in The Hub World series is out!

The virtual world holds many dangers, and secrets.

Ever since that faithful day Jupiter was left standing alone on the beach, he’s been avoiding the virtual world. Staying away hasn’t been easy. When reality is nothing but a cell and powdered food, how could he resist the siren call of freedom and a chance to make amends with his best friend?

In order to find Cas, Jupiter must travel to The Hub, the center of all virtual worlds.

There are new opportunities, new people, and new AI’s just dying to meet him. If he can manage to find Cas, then maybe they can find out just how far the rabbit hole goes and just what troubles been waiting for them below the surface.

 

I also have two short stories that are free this weekend. Now is your time to grab them.

Footsteps– a man who takes a trip out to the woods to deal with his fathers death and ends up dealing with something else entirely.
The Ring – a thief finds a ring with some interesting properties….
 
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Posted by on June 1, 2019 in On Writing

 

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Writing progress

In February I quit my job, packed up my home, and moved to Texas. It’s now May…. so how am I doing? Here are each of my goals and what happened with them.

Write More

I am definitely writing more. Both March and April I wrote 20k words, and I’m on track to doing even more this month. If I keep this up I will be well over a quarter million words in a year, something I haven’t been able to do ever. And because of how I am working things are going well, and I do not see a problem with getting the word count in.
(For those interested in numbers, in 2017 and 2018 I wrote just over 100k. May just started and I’ve already written 66k this year. I’ll pass the last two years of writing by the end of June.)

Publish in April

This one didn’t happen, and while I am upset that it didn’t happen I am also happy with the reason. The novella I had been writing is now a full novel. The first two book Hub Series were around 30k words, and this latest one is 50k making it a full length novel. I’ve also taken the time to make the story better, made the characters a bit more compelling, added some things that I hadn’t tried before. The farther I go in this series the happier I am with it. On that note, I’m sending it to the editor this weekend so expect book three in a week or two.

Draw More

I have not been keeping up with my drawing. I did a few pieces in March (1, 2, 3, 4), but I never really finished them, and I haven’t added anything to redbubble or spoonflower. I’m a little disappointed in myself since I haven’t been gaming either to take up that time, so where is it going?

Stream More

I do have a Twitch stream that I have been known to do a few times, but it was rare. The trouble I found was that when I streamed I might have one or two people pop in, and they rarely stayed for more than a few minutes. This lead me to believe I really wasn’t good at holding peoples interest long enough to stream. I don’t know when or if I will go back to it. I might just try it because I enjoy playing some narrative games, and then I could put them up on my youtube channel. I haven’t decided yet.

Youtube Again

This is another one I haven’t done since being here.  It’s also another one I’m not sure I want to do. I have two channels, one for Writing and one for Gaming. The gaming channel only allows me to post 15 minute videos so I ended up using my writing channel for gaming, which I shouldn’t have done. Honestly…. I need to do this. It would be good for me because I need to learn to talk in front of a camera again. It’s very difficult for me sometimes so… I’ll have to see what I can do.

Overall

So writing is going well, and I’ll have another book to publish soon. Then I should be able to jump in and finish the second Half Blood Sorceress book since I have already written most of it, and that will be book two, hopefully by July. So much to write and so little time. I better get writing!

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Updates

 

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Engame, a nice end to the MCU

Watching Endgame last night was amazing. I would definitely suggest seeing it in the theater if you want to see it because seeing it on the big screen with all the characters we have grown to love is just an amazing poignant note to it all.

There are a few spoilers in my discussion, so if you haven’t seen it yet you might want to turn away now.

The Endgame was a perfect bookend to the MCU movies. We started off with Tony Stark declaring that he was Iron Man, and we ended with Tony Stark doing it yet again. But this time he had grown, changed, and finally…he was completing what he started out to do. He was saving the universe for his daughter.

The actual storyline was a little convoluted (as most time travel movies are) but it had some great scenes, and some completions to certain character arch’s that were fulfilling. Black Widow and Hawk Eye fought over who would retrieve the soul stone. The Hulk had a conversation with the Ancient One and filled out Dr Strange’s story a little more. Pepper and Tony finally came to terms with Tony’s need to save the universe. And Captain America grew from a man bent on being America’s boy to a man who just wanted to live. Thor, who had fallen into a deep depression, found something worth living for again. Nebula fought herself and one.

Over the course of the movie almost every MCU character was seen as the Hulk snapped his fingers and brought everyone who was snapped out of existence back into the universe. Some provided significant plot points though their own personal story made no growth in this particular film, like Ant Man. Then there were others who seemed almost forced into the story, like Captain Marvel.

Endgame also had a few cringy moments. Like the “girl power” moment where many of the secondary female characters pose for a poster shot. This included Valkery, Matis, Marvel, and a few others. They are secondary characters that only peripherally matter to the films, though they may be more prominent going forward in the MCU. Still, a better shot would have been the original avengers. Thor, Ironman, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawk Eye. Of course this wasn’t possible because they weren’t all there, and they were also all doing their job by fighting the bad guy instead of posing for pictures.

In fact because of the new avengers I am ready to say the MCU is done, and this is the best part to stop at. I am still going to watch individual films, like Dr. Strange 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, but the main Avengers is complete.

One scene did the most in showing the difference between old and new Avengers. When Captain Marvel hears about what happens to Nick Fury she is about to fly off, ready to “kill Thanos” when Black Widow tells her “I don’t know who you are, but we’re a team. We work together.”

Danvers goes on to say multiple times that the universe only has her, and no one else, so she can’t help the earth. Only her? Many superheroes come from off planet, like The Nova Corps. To think she’s the ONLY ONE that can help the rest of the universe is so ego driven as to make her unlikable. Before she came along the Asgardians were protecting a large section of the universe, and there are many others out there.

I have to say, one of my favorite moments of the movie was Thanos bitch slapping Captain Marvel and leaving her laying in the dirt. All her ego and pride got her nowhere. It was fitting.

The only other let down of the movie is that you didn’t get to see some of the changes with our heroes. Especially the change of Thor into Professor Thor. He reminds me a lot of the Beast from X-men. It was a huge change and would have been better on camera.

There are also a couple of loose ends, namely where the heck is Gamora and Loki? Loki is set to reappear in a new TV series, and perhaps Gamora will be found in the next installment of Guardians of the Galaxy.

But the best part of the entire movie had to be Dr Strange opening portals all over the battle field and every single warrior from the MCU coming to fight Thanos. So satisfying! To see Rocket back with Groot, and Spiderman embraced by Tony Stark, it was all just nostalgia city. Such a good movie, even with the little bit of cringe thrown in.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2019 in On Writing

 

Finish it already!

I started on this journey to be a full time author and I started writing… a lot. In March I wrote more than I have written in any other month outside of NaNoWriMo. It’s 3/4 of the way through April and I am on track to meeting the same kind of numbers… But I feel like I should be doing more.

This last week I’ve found myself stuttering again, trying so hard to finish this novel and getting stuck on the words time and time again. It’s at that point now where I just have to push through, find some words, any words, and put them down. It’s always the battle scenes.

Right now the two parts I have left are an arena battle in the middle, and the final battle at the end. Both battle scenes, both needing some choreography, and both tricky because they involve some mechanics from unusual creatures. Plus trying to make them read well at the same time.

I think it’s time to stop trying to make them read well. It never works with me and a battle scene. I just have to block it out, figure out the mechanics, and then rewrite it to make it readable. I wish I could do this every time without having to agonize over it, but I just want to write the darn book, not have to rewrite it over and over again.

To top it off I just wrote ANOTHER battle scene at the beginning of this month for Restart, a shared collaboration between my litRPG discord group. You can read it for FREE over here. I wrote chapter 7. We each write a chapter in order, and I got the battle scene. It, of course, took me longer to write then everyone else because I agonize over battle scenes so much, but it was definitely great practice, and I enjoyed it. I also got to switch things up a bit, and then the next guy in line NERFED the ability I created because it was too powerful…. I think that’s a win 😉

Anyway, back to writing.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2019 in On Writing, Updates

 

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