Writing fuel: Music for wordmaking

If you haven’t hit play on the video above, I’d advise you to click play.  I’ve listened to the above… I don’t know… fifty times?  More?  What you’re listening to is one of the main themes for Impervious.  Yeah, if you’re listening to the lyrics, you might notice a common word in there.  I’m not a big fan of rap normally, but there’s something about Eppic that I really like.  Combine that with the awesome violin skills of Lindsey Stirling and it couldn’t help but be writing fuel.

Any given story that I’m working on has its own playlist.  Impervious is heavily fueled by Abney Park (example forthcoming), but there are also additions like “By No Means” and  “Some Nights” by Fun.  What makes a song right for a particular story can vary from lyrics, to the overall feel.  What’s really important are the images that it conjures.  City of the Sorcerers featured a lot of Nightwish, Within Temptation and other symphonic metal (my favorite genre of music).  Done with “By No Means”? Here’s some Abney Park and their “Steampunk Revolution”.

I can’t, can not, write without music.  Hell, I’ve got a playlist for just about everything I do, but I need music to get the creative juices flowing.  Edge has even gotten its own playlist lately, featuring a lot of I Fight Dragons.  Not familiar with them?  I suggest you look them up or at least listen to the last video I post here.  I absolutely love that some many independent artists are able to bring their music to the masses through the internet.  Also, suck it RIAA.

What about you?  What music gets the creative juices flowing?  I’ll leave you with a little bit of I Fight Dragons.  I may or may not have posted this in a previous blog… Oh well.

Someone queue up a montage, please.

Hey folks! I know its been a while, but things have been…if not busy then distracting around here lately. I lost my job about a month or so ago and have been doing what I can to reacquire gainful employment, which includes phone calls, cover letters and teaching myself some new tricks.

First off, I hate cover letters. I understand their purpose, but it seems like such an antiquated notion in this day of digital communication. I find most things in the world of business confusing. Granted, the form of a cover letter is nothing compared to the impenetrable legalese of a contract or other legal document. I suppose I'm a bit biased, given that I'm an author and writing something that isn't pleasant to read and easy on the eyes causes me something very akin to physical pain. I feel a total lack of self expression when writing cover letters that I wonder how a manager could ever use it to get a proper sense of me, as a person or potential employee.

Second, and for the first time in this blog, we'll talk a little about code. Oye…this unemployment thing is making me feel old. I've been teaching myself the basics of MVC by developing a web application for building Magic decks (employers reading this, yes, I'm THAT nerdy). The process of moving my thinking from web forms to MVC has me thinking “but the OLD way was so much easier”. When no, it really wasn't, I'm just set in my ways, which is goofy since I've only been coding for six years or so. Either way, I dived head first into a completely knew way of doing web applications and it hurts my brain meats from time to time. That being said, I think I've got a pretty good handle on the basics and have even gotten some pretty neat things working in the Deck Builder application. Right now I'm working on my user system, trying to integrate it into the overall scheme early on so I don't have to go back and do it later, which is proving a little mind boggling. The world of computer programming is just so damn big! No matter how much I know or learn, there's whole realms of information that I don't even know about. And that's just in the .NET world!

Which brings us to today. I've spent enough time banging my head against programming concepts for the time being. Whether or not I wanted it, I've been gifted with what I've always wanted; plenty of time to write. So, from now on I'm going to split my time between bettering myself as a programmer and finishing Impervious. My goal was to have the first draft done by the end of the year, something that I was making decent progress on until the last month or two. Its at about 60,000 words so far, but that means I've got about another 90,000 to go before the first roughest draft is done. After that, the second draft is going to be, more or less, burning down what I've written so far and reforging it from the ashes. Its going to be a violent and frightening process, but I'm really, REALLY looking forward to the end result. I love the story so far, but there are things that I really have to play up in the next version, and other's that I'm going to have to drop. Its entirely possible that this first book will in fact become the first two books, I'm not sure yet.

Whatever. Before any of that happens though, I've got to finish it. And since I have the time, lets find out how long it takes me to punch out 90,000 words. What do you say? Now, I've still got plenty to do for Edge, and more to do aside from that (applying for jobs and what not) but writing is going to become something I do everyday again. Time to see what I can do.


Quick update – I’m Back

You know what Hawaii is? A trap. A diabolical trap meant to catch a person and not let him go. We escaped by only the narrowest of margins. Sadly, my hat didn’t make it, and we mourn its loss even now. But, to the task at hand! Now that I’m back and married, I find my mind able to focus once again on the business of writing. I’d love to write more of a post tonight on my wedding, honeymoons and what’s going to be happening in the next few months but that’s going to have to wait for another update. Tonight I’ve got a story to revise and get off to Glenn who’s been patiently waiting on my Edge short story so we can get the next ebook out. So, everyone have a nice night and I’ll get a better update out here this week.

The editing process…

Great googly moogly! I’m getting married in three days.  I’m. Getting. Married. In. Three. Days. I’m getting married in three days! Words do not do much to express to you the true extent of my excitement at this point because I don’t know if I’m capable of explaining just how happy I am.  Yeah, its ooey gooey sentiment, but this is my blog and damnit, I’m getting married.

You may have detected a theme there.  Marriage…excitement…yeah.  That’s making it more than a little difficult to get actual, real work done here, though I have been making honest efforts.  I’ve got a short story due to Glenn who’s chomping at the bit to get the next volume of Edge of December up on the Amazon marketplace.  I can’t blame him.  Poor man, I haven’t even talked to him in two weeks or so.  Still, I’m in the middle of my initial edits, which is where I print out my story, and then poor red ink over the entire thing.

Normally, I’m a huge proponent of doing things on the iPad, but this is just so much easier and quicker.  I’ve tried doing this initial editing pass on GoodReader (which is awesome) and another couple apps that allow you to annotate pdfs, but they tend to slow the whole process down.  I’ve found its also invaluable to have a hard copy to reference when you’re going through and fixing the unlimited number of things that went wrong with your first draft.

God willing, this will be done with before Friday, and I’ll have a bit to work on while I’m in Hawaii!  One of the things I like to do when I’m on vacation is write in interesting locations and I plan to do a little bit while I’m on the beach.  Probably in the evening before it gets too cold but while the sun doesn’t interfere with my iPad screen.  Hmmm… Though getting sand in my keyboard doesn’t sound like too much fun.  Either way, some writing will happen in Hawaii.  Probably.  Maybe.  Tell you what, I’ll play it by ear.  For now, though, I’m off to do some more wedding stuff.

Look, I’m getting married in 10 days. Give me a break here.

I like my blog.  No, really, I do!  You might not know if from how much I’ve been updating lately, but I have the excellent excuse of “getting married” here in just ten days.  Yes, in theory I’ve had plenty of time to write blog posts, but honestly, I’ve just felt like sitting and relaxing with my bride to be most nights.  Other nights, I’ll admit there’s been things like Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3 which have eaten up my time like ravenous wolves on a nice juicy dear.  You can see the blood, guts and disgusting little bits of my schedule all over the place.

So, is this a “poor, little, wannabe author” post?  No, this is just an explanation.  I’m not gone.  Writing these things every week is good for me, at least in theory.  You may here less from me when I’m really into a project, but its my goal to keep this sucker updated at least once a week in addition to my other duties.  So, aside from video games, here’s what’s been going on.

A couple weeks ago, Edge of December’s server decided that they were going to change their operating system to something that was incompatible with the Frankenstein’s Monster of code that Glenn and his cabal of dark sorcerers use to bring the comic to the world.  So, for that last couple week Glenn has been assembling components, installing systems and sacrificing virgins to whatever dark god he pays homage to.  In the end, his fell work has given birth to Edge’s new server, and we’re back up and as shiny as we’ve ever been.  But the cost in lives and tears was great.  I suggest you go and buy an eBook or two.

Speaking of Edge, I’ve been working on the first Edge of December short story, covering Baron’s time in Russia and the misadventures that he has there.  I’m happy to say that the first draft is done and we’re currently editing it to go into the next Edge of December eBook!  I’m really excited because this will be the very first time words of mine could be consumed by the public at large!  Squeeeeee!  I’ll be expecting everyone to go and buy it as soon as it hits the digital shelves.  And by everyone, I mean anyone who stumbles across these words.

So, that’s a pretty good breakdown of what I’ve been up to for the last month, aside from wedding stuff.  Lots of that.  My next plans are to edit up The Hard Truth while on my way to and from Hawaii and maybe kick out a new version of that for some alpha readers.  For the rest of the year, I have to do five more 25k months to meet my goal…which means to make that, I’m going to have to be writing like a mofo until January.  I do like a challenge.  So, stay tuned, there may not be updates for the next couple weeks, because I’ll be getting married and then in Hawaii.  *does a little dance*  Who knows though, maybe I’ll give you an update from the beach as I sip fru fru drinks.  Until then, everyone have a good start to your summer!